Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will stay at the International Space Station for about six months as part of the next ISS mission starting around the end of 2019, Japan's space agency said Tuesday.
It will be the third ISS mission for the 52-year-old astronaut following his earlier expeditions in 2005 and 2009. His training for the mission will start in Japan and the United States from Nov. 20.
In the upcoming mission, Noguchi will perform duties such as maintaining ISS facilities, including Japanese laboratory module Kibo, as well as conducting scientific experiments and operating a robot arm.
He will fly with other crew members aboard either a Russian Soyuz spacecraft or a new spacecraft that will be developed by the United States.
"I am extremely honored as I may be able to witness a big turning point in the history of manned space flights," said Noguchi.
A native of Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Noguchi was selected as a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut in 1996. He flew to the ISS in the U.S. space shuttle Discovery in July 2005, and stayed in space for 163 days on another mission between December 2009 and June 2010.