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Japanese astronaut to try flying carpet in space lab

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Image for illustration purpose only. Courtesy Disney

TOKYO (BNS): What we have seen in innumerable books that Alladin flies on his magic carpet may come true, when a Japanese astronaut going to space will try to fly on a carpet. A space agency official said that astronaut Koichi Wakata will use eye drops in zero gravity and meet a series of other off-beat challenges.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said that Wakata would perform 16 tasks chosen from 1,597 suggested by hundreds of people, from nursery school students to a 90-year-old man.

A Japanese space agency report said that Wakata will try a magic carpet that floats in the air after he reaches the Japanese laboratory Kibo (Hope) at the International Space Station (ISS) later in March for a nearly three-month stay.

“It is a fantasy on earth but can humans fly in space?” it asked.

The space agency said that the astronaut will also attempt to fold clothes, do push-ups and back flips, arm-wrestle another astronaut and shoot liquid out of the straw of a drink container to see what happens.

JAXA said it would release footage of the experiments to the local media. Wakata, a 45-year-old former Japan Airlines engineer, joined previous NASA space shuttle missions in 1996 and 2000. On his first space trip he and a fellow astronaut became the first to play the board game go in space, using a special set, JAXA said.

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