Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide will enliven the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay from the International Space Station (ISS) as official Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

They will support and enliven the torch relay with messages sent from the ISS. Here is an introduction to their profiles and their enthusiastic comments toward this new appointment.

Soichi Noguchi, JAXA Astronaut

Soichi Noguchi

Born 1965 in Yokohama, Kanagawa. In 2005, he joined a mission with the space shuttle Discovery during which the shuttle docked with the International Space Station and Noguchi conducted three extravehicular activities as a lead spacewalker. In 2009 he was launched to the ISS aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. He spent five and a half months aboard the ISS as a flight engineer for the 22/23 mission expedition and operated the robotic arm of Japan“s KIBO module as well as conducting scientific experiments. Later this year, he will return to the ISS for a long term assignment as flight engineer.

Comments from Soichi Noguchi
“I am delighted to have been appointed Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassador. The flame is a symbol of peace and hope and I am looking forward to sending messages of peace from the ISS and cheering on those participating in the torch relay. I believe that the light of the flame will encapsulate the “power of recovery” emanating from Japan“s recent natural disasters, as well as the “tolerance” that allows us to accept diversity and the “dynamism” uniting local communities in a global festival, and that it will herald the sunrise of a new generation. To everyone in Japan, I say please join with us astronauts and help create a road of hope illuminated by flame.”

Akihiko Hoshide, JAXA Astronaut

Akihiko Hoshide

Born 1968 in Tokyo. In 2008, he flew to the ISS on the STS-124 mission and installed Japan“s KIBO pressurized module. In 2012, he stayed on the ISS as a flight engineer for the 32/33 mission expedition, conducting scientific experiments in the KIBO module and other parts of the ISS and undertaking three extravehicular activity excursions. In 2020, he will return to the ISS as commander.

Comments from Akihiko Hoshide
“I am glad to have been appointed Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassador. When I heard about this opportunity, I felt very honoured, and I realized how much closer the Tokyo 2020 Games are getting. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are great events involving top athletes from all over the world striving to win, to achieve a world record or achieve a personal best with the support of their team. Astronaut Soichi and I look forward to engaging with the torch relay as it delivers the flame to the opening ceremony and helps to connect everyone“s hopes for the future.”