Still reaching for the stars

Dr Chiaki Mukai has clocked over 550 hours in space over two missions.
Dr Chiaki Mukai has clocked over 550 hours in space over two missions.

TOKYO • Japan's first female astronaut Chiaki Mukai, a trained medical doctor, has clocked more than 550 hours in space over two missions in 1994 and 1998.

Dr Mukai, who turns 66 next month, is also living proof that dreams, however astronomical, may one day come true. "There were many epoch-making moments as I was growing up, including the 1969 Apollo moon landing," she said. "But Japan was a very poor country and this was a 'dream of dreams'."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2018, with the headline 'Still reaching for the stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe