ISU Faculty, Dr. Chiaki Mukai honored by France

ISU Faculty & astronaut Dr. Chiaki Mukai was awarded France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor, for her contribution to strengthening cooperation between France & Japan in the field of space exploration.

Dr. Chiaki Mukai is a medical doctor and a JAXA astronaut of two Space Shuttle flights: the Second International Microgravity Laboratory mission (STS-65) in July 1994 and STS-95 with US Senator John Glenn in October 1998. She spent more than 566 hours in space. Dr. Mukai is the first Japanese woman to fly in space and also the first Japanese astronaut to fly twice in space!

ISU welcomes Dr. Mukai as a visiting professor since 2001 and she resided on Strasbourg ISU central campus from 2004 to 2007 as resident faculty. She not only gives lectures to Master of Space Science (MSS) students but also regularly takes part in the Space Studies Program (SSP) astronauts’ panel and lectures in that program as well.

The French ambassador to Japan, Thierry Dana, handed the medal to Mukai at an award ceremony at his official residence in Tokyo.

Dr. Mukai is a strong promotor of space utilization, in particular in the field of medical research and the benefits of space programs to the health programs on Earth. Currently she serves as a director for the JAXA Applied Space Medicine and Human Research Center(J-CASNHR).

ISU congratulates Dr. Mukai on this outstanding award which was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize eminent service in fields such as culture, science and business.