The first non-American to be added to the crew for a SpaceX Dragon flight to the International Space Station is Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Noguchi first visited the space station in 2005 during the first space shuttle flight following the 2003 Columbia shuttle tragedy, and rode a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for a six-month orbital stay on the station in 2009-2010.
For his next mission, Noguchi will be teaming up with NASA’s Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr. — plus Shannon Walker, who was also named today as a member of the first crew to begin a regular tour of duty on the space station with a Crew Dragon launch. The launch date hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s targeted for later this year.
Before that flight lifts off, SpaceX is due to launch two NASA astronauts — Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — on a demonstration mission to the space station and back. Today NASA reported that Behnken and Hurley have been going through a series of launch-to-landing simulations in preparation for the Dragon test flight, which is scheduled for as early as May.