Japanese Astronaut Doi Takes Up UN Outer Space Post

Veteran Japanese astronaut Takao Doi to take up UN job
The Mainichi Daily News

Veteran Japanese astronaut Takao Doi will serve as a section chief at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna from autumn, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced.

Doi, 54, was chosen for the role of Space Applications Section chief, a two-year position, starting from September this year, becoming the first astronaut to work for the office, according to the JAXA.

The office is in charge of peaceful uses of outer space. Doi is expected to utilize artificial satellite communication and weather observation technologies for remote medical care and disaster prevention, and to promote space education in developing countries.

Read the full story.


PERSONAL DATA: Born in 1954 in Minamitama, Tokyo, Japan. Married to the former Hitomi Abe of Toukamachi, Niigata, Japan. He enjoys flying, soaring, playing tennis, jogging, soccer, and observing stars as an amateur astronomer.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Ousaka-phu, Mikunigaoka High School in 1973. Bachelor of Engineering degree from University of Tokyo, 1978. Master of Engineering degree from University of Tokyo, 1980. Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from University of Tokyo, 1983. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy from Rice University in 2004.

ORGANIZATIONS: The Japan Society of Microgravity Application, the Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Science, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

SPECIAL HONORS: Received a Commendation from the Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Science Council of Japan’s Special Citation, and National Space Development Agency of Japan’s Outstanding Service Award in 1992.

PUBLICATIONS: Published over 40 papers in the areas of chemical propulsion systems, electric propulsion systems, fluid dynamics, microgravity science and technology, and astronomy.

EXPERIENCE: Takao Doi studied space propulsion systems as a research student in the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan from 1983 to 1985. He worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center as a National Research Council research associate in 1985.

Dr. Doi joined the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan in 1985 and has been working in the Japanese manned space program since then. He conducted research on microgravity fluid dynamics at the University of Colorado from 1987 to 1988 and at the National Aerospace Laboratory in Japan in 1989 as a visiting scientist. In 1992, he served as a backup payload specialist for the Spacelab Japan mission (STS-47). In 1994, he worked as a project scientist on the International Microgravity Laboratory 2 mission (STS-65). Effective October 1, 2003, NASDA merged with ISAS (Institute of Space & Astronautic Science) and NAL (National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan) and was renamed JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).

NASA EXPERIENCE: Dr. Doi participated in payload specialist training at NASA from 1990 to 1992 in preparation for the Spacelab Japan mission. He reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 for mission specialist training. On completing a year of training and evaluation, he was assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Vehicle Systems/Operations Branch and later the Astronaut Office International Space Station Branch. Dr. Doi was a mission specialist on STS-87 (November 19 to December 5, 1997) and is the first Japanese astronaut to perform an EVA (spacewalk). He also flew as a mission specialist on STS-123 (March 11 to 26) to the International Space Station (ISS) and successfully attached the first section of the Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo, to the ISS. A veteran of two space flights, Dr. Doi has logged over 754 hours in space, including 2 spacewalks totaling 12 hours and 43 minutes.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-87 Columbia (November 19 to December 5, 1997) was the fourth U.S Microgravity Payload flight and focused on experiments designed to study how the weightless environment of space affects various physical processes and on observations of the Sun’s outer atmospheric layers. Dr. Doi and Navy Captain Winston Scott performed two EVA’s. The first, a 7 hour and 43 minute spacewalk, featured the manual capture of a Spartan satellite, in addition to testing EVA tools and procedures for future ISS assembly. The second spacewalk lasted 5 hours and also featured ISS assembly tests. The mission was accomplished in 252 Earth orbits, traveling 6.5 million miles in 15 days, 16 hours, and 34 minutes.

STS-123 Endeavour (March 11 to 26, 2008) was the 25th Shuttle/Station assembly mission and had both a night launch and landing. Endeavour’s crew delivered the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module – Pressurized Section, the first pressurized component of JAXA’s Kibo Laboratory, as well as the Canadian-made Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. Dr. Doi’s duties included attaching and setting up of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Logistics Module, conducting Thermal Protection System (TPS) surveys with the Orbital Boom Sensor System (OBSS), and conducting rendezvous and docking. The mission was accomplished in 250 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 6 million miles in 15 days, 18 hours, and 11 minutes.