Norishige Kanai Status: Active 12/5/1976 – Nationality: Japanese Type: Government First Flight: 12/17/2017 Last Flight: 12/17/2017 Norishige Kanai, M.D. is a Japanese doctor and JAXA astronaut. He is a lieutenant and Diving Medical Officer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Medical Service Division, 1st Service School). He served as a crew member on board the International Space Station for Expedition 54/55, and returned to Earth on June 3 2018. Launches Soyuz-FG | Soyuz MS-07 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.