• Kyodo

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Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui expressed his hope Tuesday that children will try to achieve their dreams as he spoke aboard the International Space Station in orbit.

“I want children to do their best and achieve their dream. And I want them to do what they need to do,” Yui, 45, said as he took part in an ISS crew press conference transmitted through a satellite connection.

Yui, a flight engineer who was formerly an Air Self-Defense Force pilot, arrived at the ISS by a Soyuz spacecraft in July along with two other astronauts and is expected to stay until December.

Although the usual number of crew members on the ISS is six, nine members are currently aboard simultaneously due to member replacement.

Yui said there is no problem as the ISS is as spacious as a jumbo jet.

Three new astronauts joined the mission last Friday. They will replace three other members who have stayed on the ISS for half a year and are scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday.

U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut Scott Kelly, 51, is serving as the captain until next March.

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