BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan—Flying into space like the superhero Ultra Seven. It was a childhood daydream of Satoshi Furukawa, today a 47-year-old surgeon-cum-astronaut. He made this dream come true Wednesday after waiting for 12 years, when the Soyuz spacecraft carrying him and two others was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, bound for the International Space Station.
Family, friends and acquaintances in his hometown and at the launch base cheered at his successful flight and wished him fruitful days at the ISS.
“When he was a child, he always talked about Ultra Seven,” his mother, Hiroko Furukawa, 74, recalled while watching the launch at the base.
“Ultra Seven” is one of Tsuburaya Productions Co.’s famed “Ultra” science fiction TV series. “Ultra Seven” was the third series after “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman.” Ultra Seven, the title character, is a superhero from the imaginary Nebula M-78.