• Kyodo


Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who returned from the International Space Station in mid-November, said Thursday he already wants to return to the final frontier.

“I wished I could have stayed there forever. I want to go back and work there,” Hoshide, 43, told Japanese reporters via teleconference from Houston, where he is undergoing rehabilitation.

“I tottered and moved awkwardly (soon after the return to Earth). I looked pale because of a lack of suntan,” Hoshide said. “I looked something like a zombie.”

He returned to Earth with colleagues Yury Malenchenko from Russia and Sunita Williams from the U.S. on Nov. 19 after completing a four-month mission. It was Hoshide’s second mission. His first one was in 2008.

Hoshide set a new record for spacewalks by a Japanese astronaut after conducting three stints totaling more than 21 hours during the latest mission. He and the two other astronauts left Earth on July 15.

Asked what he missed in space station, he said, “I wished to see Japanese fireworks and the colors of autumn.”

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