Astronaut to try flying carpet in space!

Koichi WakataImage via Wikipedia

Astronaut Koichi Wakata gestures after a check-up at NASA

A Japanese astronaut going to space this month will try to fly on a carpet, use eyedrops in zero gravity and meet a series of other off-beat challenges, a space agency official said on Thursday.

Koichi Wakata will perform 16 tasks chosen from 1,597 suggested by hundreds of people, from nursery school pupils to a 90-year-old man, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) official said.

Wakata will try “a magic carpet that floats in the air” after reaching the Japanese laboratory Kibo at the International Space Station (ISS) later in March for a stay of more than three months.

He will also attempt to fold clothes, do push-ups and backflips, arm-wrestle another astronaut and “shoot liquid out of the straw of a drink container

MTSAT-1Image via Wikipedia

to see what happens”, the space agency said.

In another initiative, JAXA has invited companies to rent an astronaut by the hour in the ISS space lab to perform desired tasks, which could include advertisements or science experiments.

The hourly charge for an astronaut is 5.5 million yen (Rs 29 lakh approx) - plus an extra fee of 3.3 million yen (Rs 17 lakh approx) per kilogramme to transport any required items into space.
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