May 19, 2009

Astronaut Flies On ‘Magic Carpet’ In Zero-Gravity

In a string of zero-gravity tests sent in by the public, a Japanese astronaut rode on a "flying carpet" in outer space, folded up some laundry, and refreshed his eyes with eye drops.

Koichi Wakata floated on a sheet in a cabin of the International Space Station in a video clip available online from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

"I flew on this magic carpet by using adhesive tape so that the soles of my feet stayed on it," Wakata said during the course of his unusual activity list.

The 16 wacky tasks were chosen from selections sent in by hundreds of Japanese citizens, ranging in age from pre-school children to a 90-year-old.

In a different test, Wakata used eye drops in zero gravity, pressing out a small ball of the solution and letting it linger on the tip of the bottle before putting it to his eye.

Wakata also folded laundry, having difficulty with a shirt and a blue space overall, but accomplishing the task nevertheless.

The trials were carried out in the Japanese lab Kibo (Hope) of the ISS on May 15, and were also performed in April.


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