TOKYO – Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide now commands the International Space Station (ISS), having lifted off to space last month on board a spacecraft built commercially by American company SpaceX.

This carries tremendous symbolism. Mr Hoshide, 52, is only the second Japanese astronaut to lead the ISS. His voyage on board a commercial craft also signifies a future of space exploration at the hands of profit-oriented entities.

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