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YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Astronaut Soichi Noguchi received a hero’s welcome Monday during a parade in his honor in his hometown of Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, after living nearly half a year in space.

Residents cheered the 45-year-old as he cruised the town in a convertible before relating his adventures on the International Space Station to an audience of about 1,500 people, including students, at a civic center.

Noguchi first flew to the ISS on a space shuttle mission in 2005. His more recent stay aboard the station started in late December and ended in early June.

Noguchi, who attended elementary and junior high school in Chigasaki, spent 163 consecutive days in space, a Japanese record.

Since returning to Earth, he has been undergoing rehabilitation sessions in Houston.

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