Naoko Yamazaki

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Naoko Yamazaki
Naoko Yamazaki.jpg
NASDA/JAXA Astronaut
Nationality Japanese
Status Retired
Born (1970-12-27) December 27, 1970 (age 47)
Matsudo, Chiba, Japan
Other occupation
Engineer, Researcher
Time in space
15 days, 2 hours, 47 minutes
Selection 1999 NASDA Group
Missions STS-131
Mission insignia
STS-131 patch.svg
Retirement August 31, 2011

Naoko Yamazaki (山崎 直子, Yamazaki Naoko, born December 27, 1970) is a former Japanese astronaut at JAXA, the second Japanese woman to qualify for the program.[1][2][3] The first was Chiaki Mukai.[2]

Early life

Yamazaki was born Naoko Sumino in Matsudo City. She spent two years of her childhood in Sapporo.[4] After graduating from Ochanomizu University Senior High School in 1989, Yamazaki earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1993, and earned a Master of Science degree with a major in Aerospace Engineering in 1996.[1][5]

JAXA career

Yamazaki was selected as an astronaut candidate in February 1999 by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, now JAXA), attended the ISS Astronaut Basic Training program beginning in April 1999, and was certified as an astronaut in September 2001.[5] Since 2001, Yamazaki has participated in ISS Advanced Training and supported the development of the hardware and operation of the Japanese Experiment Module.[1][5] In May 2004, Yamazaki completed Soyuz-TMA Flight Engineer training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center in Star City, Russia.[1]

NASA experience

In June 2004, Yamazaki arrived at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to begin Astronaut Candidate Training school.[1] She was assigned to the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch.[1]

In November 2008, JAXA announced that Yamazaki would become the second Japanese woman to fly in space on STS-131, scheduled to launch in 2010.[2][3][6]

On April 5, 2010 Yamazaki entered space on the shuttle Discovery as part of mission STS-131. She returned to Earth on April 20, 2010.[7]

Yamazaki retired from JAXA on August 31, 2011.

Personal life

Yamazaki was married to Taichi Yamazaki and the couple have two children; they were divorced in February 2012.[citation needed] She enjoys scuba diving, snow skiing, flying and music.[1]

In 2007, Yamazaki provided the voice as herself in episode 7 of the anime Rocket Girls.

Yamazaki has been a part-time researcher at the University of Tokyo since December 2010.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g NASA (January 2008). "Naoko Yamazaki". NASA. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c Reuters (November 11, 2008). "Astronaut set to become Japan's first mum in space". Reuters UK. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
  3. ^ a b JAXA (November 11, 2008). "Naoko Yamazaki to become second Japanese female astronaut to fly to space". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  4. ^ NASA (March 8, 2010). "Preflight Interview: Naoko Yamazaki, Mission Specialist". Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c JAXA (May 19, 2008). "Naoko Yamazaki". Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  6. ^ NASA (2008). "Consolidated Launch Manifest". NASA. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  7. ^ Harwood, William. "Shuttle Lifts Off for Space Station", The New York Times, New York City, April 5, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-04-05.

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.

External links

  • JAXA biography
  • Naoko Yamazaki on Twitter
  • Spacefacts biography of Naoko Yamazaki
  • JAXA TODAY No. 2
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