Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide during ESA's underground astronaut training course CAVES, June 2016.
CAVES stands for Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills. The two-week course prepares astronauts to work safely and effectively in multicultural teams in an environment where safety is critical – in caves.
Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide was born in 1968 in Tokyo and graduated in 1992 with a Master’s in science and aerospace engineering. He was involved in developing the Japanese H-II rocket and worked as an astronaut support engineer from 1994 to 1999. Aki completed his basic astronaut training programme in 1999 and became a certified Soyuz flight engineer in 2004.
Aki has extensive spaceflight experience, with two missions to the International Space Station: in 2007 on Space Shuttle Discovery to help install Japan’s Kibo laboratory, returning to space in 2012 on Soyuz TMA-05M. He has spent 140 days in space and conducted three spacewalks.
Aki was also a commander for NASA’s NEEMO underwater astronaut training course in 2014, working alongside ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.