Naoko Yamazaki is an aerospace engineer and an astronaut. In April 2010, she was onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as part of the crew of STS-131, an assembly and resupply mission to the International Space Station.
Since retiring from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in 2011, Yamazaki has served as a member of the Japan Space Policy Committee that is part of the government’s Cabinet Office.
Yamazaki is also the representative director of Space Port Japan Association, an alliance of space corporations and local governments with interest in space. Its aim is to establish Asia’s first spaceports in Japan.
In 2020, Yamazaki joined the council of the Earthshot Prize, a global environment prize intended to inspire a decade of action to repair the planet.
She grew up in Chiba prefecture of Japan, close to Tokyo. Her degree in aerospace engineering was from the University of Tokyo.