Akihiko Hoshide Status: Active 12/28/1968 – Nationality: Japanese Type: Government First Flight: 5/31/2008 Last Flight: 7/15/2012 Akihiko Hoshide is a Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut. On August 30, 2012, Hoshide became the third Japanese astronaut to walk in space. His space selfies from 2012, including another space selfie that was posted on Instagram, appeared at the top of many selfie lists of 2013. Launches Space Shuttle Discovery / OV-103 | STS-124 Soyuz FG | Soyuz TMA-05M Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Type: Government Abbreviation: JAXA Administration: Administrator: Hiroshi Yamakawa Founded: 2003 Launchers: H-II Country: JPN The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan’s national aero-space agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on 1 October 2003. JAXA is responsible for research, technology development and the launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in many more advanced missions, such as asteroid exploration and possible manned exploration of the Moon. JAXA launch their Epsilon vehicle from the Uchinoura Space Center and their H-II vehicles from the Tanegashima Space Center.