body odour will affect the colleagues in the narrow confines of a
space shuttle," according to Shi Binbin, 454th Air Force
Hospital doctor recently said.
Specifically, there are 100
physical and mental requirements that must be satisfied before
advancing in the program, including no runny noses. China isn't
currently involved in the International Space Station (ISS) project,
but the country plans to launch a space module in 2010, then hopes to
dock with it in 2011.
JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, who
recently returned to Earth aboard shuttle Endeavour, didn't
change his underwear for one month, which will allow scientists
to better evaluate the development of new high-tech underwear.
Wakata said there were no complaints, and the underwear worn has
built-in anti-bacterial, odor-eliminating, anti-static,
water-absorbent, flame retardant features.
For long-term space
missions -- including possible trips to Mars -- underwear that
doesn't require frequent washing may be vital, and similar
experiments could be possible.
A new panel looking into future
NASA space missions plan to tell President Barack Obama it would be
wiser to research deep space and stop putting so much emphasis into
moon and Mars landing missions. The panel believes sending
astronauts to unexplored, far-reaching parts of the solar system may
be better than focusing on the moon and Mars, which would likely be
delayed for several decades.
The future of NASA has been
widely discussed, especially as the retirement of the current shuttle
fleet is less than one year away. In the near future, the U.S.
space agency plans to work on the ISS, then will shift focus to a
possible moon landing by 2025. Other space nations, including
China, Japan, India, and Russia also plan to launch missions to the
moon -- including manned shuttle launches, probes, and possible
Aside from missions, money also has been widely
“In fact, it is unclear whether NASA has
the financing for any scenarios that do anything important beyond
low-Earth orbit prior to 2020,” said Princeton professor
Christopher Chyba, who serves on the 10-person panel. “If we
really want to do this, we have to provide a realistic budget for it.
Otherwise, let’s be clear about the limits placed on us by the
quote: the underwear has odor-eliminating, flame retardant features