Tea Time at Japan Society

A Conversation with Japanese Astronaut Soichi Noguchi

October 28, 2020
Part of Tea Time at Japan Society

“Space is opening up!” Tea Time blasts off into its second season with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)—who is looking forward to his own launch on November 14 for a 180-day mission in space. Noguchi’s third mission, the first to use a SpaceX capsule to reach the International Space Station, marks his 25th year as an astronaut, a career that he dreamed of as a child. The crew named their capsule Resilience, a fitting name for 2020. The only Japanese person in a multinational crew, Noguchi, who personifies the milestones of U.S.-Japan relations in space, also serves as a space ambassador for the 2021 Olympics. On his first mission in 2005, Noguchi brought along part of Japan—ramen noodles and curry rice. “This time,” he said, “I’m expanding a little more… [with] yakitori and fried noodles—yakisoba are my favorite… it’s an izakaya-type menu, for hanging out after hard work.” Celebrating the season of culture in Japan, future episodes will feature more stories on U.S.-Japan cultural exchanges.

Noguchi offered this advice to all children who want to be astronauts: “Space is waiting for you. The door is open, now we have a way to go outside and explore…. May your dreams come true in the future."  

Soichi Noguchi
Aeronautical Engineer/JAXA Astronaut

Soichi Noguchi is a Japanese aeronautical engineer and JAXA astronaut. His first spaceflight was as a Mission Specialist aboard STS-114 on 26 July 2005 for NASA's first "return to flight" Space Shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster. He was most recently in space as part of the Soyuz TMA-17 crew and Expedition 22 to the International Space Station. He is the fifth Japanese astronaut to fly in space and the fourth to fly on the space shuttle. He was to have served as the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassador and spoke of the mission on themes of hope, peace, and resiliency—themes he often cites as inspiration.


Japan Society’s Tea Time Season #2 is proudly supported by ITO EN (North America) INC.

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