Koichi Wakata’s underpants

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.

Koichi Wakata underpants

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 . . .

Koichi Wakata’s 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.

Full story is here

I casually mentioned my trip a friend from Forbes and got scooped. (serves me right, I suppose)

8 Responses to “Koichi Wakata’s underpants”

  1. Very impressive. By the way, were the socks deodorized as well?

    • tony says:

      I believe so. They contain some kind of high-tech silver catalyst material. Apparently the underpants cost about 15,000 yen a pair to make.

  2. Catherine says:

    I’m sure they will look nice in a museum somewhere in the future…

  3. […] Here’s what the duds look […]

  4. blueprintman louisville , ky says:

    1500 yen???? for the underwear equals u.s. dollars?????

  5. […] find anything on this either, only a list of the 16 + 1 (“super” underwear) experiments he did try and the fact they have ramen and onigiri for him to […]

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