Norishige Kanai

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Norishige Kanai
Norishige kanai jaxa.jpg
JAXA Astronaut
Nationality Japanese
Status Active
Born December 1976
Tokyo, Japan
Other occupation
Rank Lieutenant, JMSDF
Time in space
Selection 2009 JAXA Group
Missions Soyuz MS-07 (Expedition 54/55)

Norishige Kanai (金井 宣茂?, Kanai Norishige, born December 1976) (M.D.) is a Japanese doctor and a JAXA astronaut.[1]

He is a lieutenant and Diving Medical Officer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Medical Service Division, 1st Service School).


He enjoys Aikido and other Japanese traditional martial arts, scuba diving, and traveling.

He graduated from Toho High School, Chiba, Japan, in 1995. Received a doctorate in Medicine from National Defense Medical College in 2002.

He is a member of the Japan Surgical Society, Japanese Society of Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine.


Kanai was commissioned from the National Defense Medical College in 2002. From 2002 to 2004, he worked in the Department of Surgery at the National Defense Medical College Hospital. In 2004, he was assigned to Japan Self Defense Force Ohminato Hospital, Aomori, Japan. He completed the Diving Medicine Course and qualified as a Diving Medical Officer in 2004. He also completed the U.S. Navy Diving Medical Officer’s Course as an international military student at the Naval Diving & Salvage Training Center, Florida, and qualified as a Navy diver in 2006. From 2006 to 2008, he worked in the Department of Surgery at the National Defense Medical College Hospital. He was transferred to Japan Self Defense Force Hospital Kure, Hiroshima, Japan, in 2008. Kanai worked at the JMSDF 1st Service School from June to September 2009.

JAXA career[edit]

After his selection as an astronaut candidate by JAXA in September 2009, Kanai arrived at the Johnson Space Center later that month for NASA training. As one of the 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class, he participated in Astronaut Candidate Training which includes scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in ISS systems, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. He was certified as an ISS astronaut in July 2011.

In July 2015, Kanai participated as an aquanaut in the NEEMO 20 crew.[2]

Expedition 54/55[edit]

In August 2015 JAXA announced his selection to the crew of Expedition 54/55 to the International Space Station, scheduled for launch in December 2017.[3]


  1. ^ JAXA Selects An Additional Astronaut Candidate for ISS Crewmember - September 8, 2009 - JAXA web site
  2. ^ "crew of NEEMO 20". 20 July 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Astronaut Norishige Kanai Selected as Member of ISS Expedition Crew". JAXA. 26 August 2015. 

External links[edit]