JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata is the New Commander of the International Space Station

Command of the International Space Station was passed from cosmonaut Oleg Kotov to Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on March 9.

The change of command makes Wakata, who will oversee Expedition 39, the first Japanese commander of the complex. He, NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin will be joined on March 26 by NASA's Steve Swanson and cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Oleg Artemyev.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.