Wakata Koichi, the first Japanese astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station, has been given a vital (though somewhat unusual) assignment: testing of new odor-free briefs.
The new underwear, called J-ware, are designed to kill bacteria, absorb water, insulate the body and dry quickly. The briefs also resist fire and static, which are important qualities in an enclosed space station.
Most importantly however, the new underwear can be worn up to a week. In initial testing, J-ware remained dry and stink-free even after a vigorous workout.
The new underwear could be huge boon for the International Space Station, say Japanese officials.
By adopting J-ware, the astronauts living aboard the station could vastly cut storage costs and clothing shipments without endangering themselves to health risks caused by bad hygiene. The space station has no laundry facilities.
Japanese officials plan to make the clothes available to NASA and its other space station partners once development is complete.
They also plan to introduce a commercial line, which will make stink-free clothing available for civilians (and doubtless to the general military).