A brief (ahem) story I did for National Geographic News. It’s on the experiments Japanese astronaunt Koichi Wakata will perform on himself during his upcoming shuttle mission.
This nice lady at JAXA showed me the high-tech deoderant underwear that Wakata will trial. Apparently the shuttle is a pretty smelly place. There’s no way to wash clothes, so astronauts take all they need and try to change their togs as infrequently as possible. A week for a T-shirt I’m told.
Some space socks . . .
This is JAXA. The Tsukuba complex is right out in the countryside, a good 90 minutes from Tokyo. Probably just as well with all that rocket fuel around.
Opening graph of my story:
As part of his mission, former airplane engineer Koichi Wakata, 45, has volunteered to be a human guinea pig—downing pills, wiring himself with sensors, and recording how smelly his underwear gets—all in the name of science.
I casually mentioned my trip a friend from Forbes and got scooped. (serves me right, I suppose)