Kimiya Yui

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Kimiya Yui
Kimiya Yui NASA official portrait.jpg
JAXA Astronaut
Nationality Japanese
Status Active
Born (1970-01-30) January 30, 1970 (age 47)[citation needed]
Kawakami, Nagano, Japan
Rank Lieutenant Colonel(Ret.), JASDF
Time in space
141 days
Selection 2009 JAXA Group
Missions Soyuz TMA-17M (Expedition 44/45)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-TMA-17M-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 44 Patch.png ISS Expedition 45 Patch.png

Kimiya Yui (油井 亀美也 Yui Kimiya?, born January 30, 1970[citation needed] in Kawakami, Nagano, Japan) is a Japanese astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He was selected in 2009.[1]


Yui, from Nagano Prefecture, enrolled in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force after he graduated from the National Defense Academy of Japan in 1992. He has piloted a F-15 Eagle fighter (test pilot), and worked in the Air Staff Office's Defense Planning Division since December 2008 as a Lieutenant Colonel when he was selected as an astronaut candidate along with Takuya Onishi. He is the first Japanese candidate for astronauts with military background, and had forced to be retired because of the existence of historical policy by Japanese government to separate scientific field from military works.[citation needed]

After the astronaut candidate training, he was certified as an ISS astronaut in July 2011.

Yui served as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 16 undersea exploration mission in June 2012.[2] The NEEMO 16 crew successfully "splashed down" at 11:05 am on June 11.[3] On the morning of June 12, Yui and his crewmates officially became aquanauts, having spent over 24 hours underwater.[4] The crew safely returned to the surface on June 22.[5]

On July 22, 2015, Yui launched to the International Space Station as part of Expedition 44/45 aboard the Soyuz TMA-17M.[6] In November 2016, Yui became Chief of the JAXA Astronaut Group.


  1. ^ Xinhua News Agency Staff Writers (February 26, 2009). "Two Japanese Picked As Candidates For Astronauts". Space.TV Corporation. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (April 16, 2012). "NASA - NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew". NASA. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 11, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 1 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 12, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 2 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 22, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 12 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Soyuz TMA-17M launches three-man crew for space station". 22 July 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 

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