Washington, Mar 18: A new crewmate aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is testing a new line of clothing that is literally threaded with anti-bacterial and deodorizing materials, making it 'odour free'.
According to a report in Discovery News, the crewmate in question is Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut, who is serving as a station flight engineer on the ISS.
Wakata is testing a new line of clothing developed for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency that is made with anti-bacterial and deodorizing materials.
"He can wear his trunks (underwear) more than a week," Koji Yanagawa, director of JAXA's Human Space Technology and Astronaut Department, told Discovery News.
The clothes, developed by Yoshiko Taya and colleagues at the Japan Women's University in Tokyo, were tested by JAXA astronauts during two previous shuttle missions and won rave reviews.
In addition to odor control, the clothes are designed to absorb water, insulate the body and dry quickly. They also are flame-resistant and anti-static, as well as comfortable and attractive.
Wakata's clothes include long- and short-sleeved shirts, pants, shorts and underwear.
There are socks too, which in addition to being laced with odor-fighting polymers, are constructed so that there is a pouch for the big toes, similar to how a mitten fits a thumb.
The design enables astronauts to use their feet like an extra pair of hands.
Taya is working with clothing manufacturers Toray Industries and Goldwin Inc. on a commercial line that integrates a nano-thick chemical layer into the materials.
"Many of the properties required for clothing worn by astronauts on board a spacecraft can be applied to ordinary clothes," said Taya.
For now, the space clothes are only available to JAXA's astronauts.
"Someday, when we're all finished with development, we will supply them to the other partners," Yanagawa said. (ANI)