Why is Takao Doi smiling? Depends...
Takao Doi, the Japanese astronaut who'll be testing whether a boomerang will fly in space , now has something else to live down: he'll be the living test-bed for a new underwear fabric said to provide "high levels of deodorant, antiseptic and antistatic effect" in space. Don't laugh - how'd you like to be docking a visiting space shuttle while dealing with static cling below the asteroid belt?
According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Doi will be wearing the "seamless, stretchable" boxer shorts, gym wear and socks in the new Kibo Japanese space lab attached to the ISS. Doi will be unable to shower or take a bath during his two weeks on the station... umm, static may be the least of his (and the rest of the crew's) problems.
The old-style undies - as uncomfortable as they look
Perhaps Doi can parlay his "brief" encounter with the Final Frontier into something more lucrative (and less embarrassing) once he returns to Earth - and has a nice long shower.
After all, the space skivvies were developed with input from sportswear maker Goldwin Inc., chemical company Toray Industries Inc. and fabric manufacturer Kuraray Co., according to a JAXA spokesperson. A tie-in with "Captain Underpants", officially or not, is pretty much a given. (via Yomiuri News)
Japanese Innovations Writer