At least one space mystery has now been solved.
What kind of underwear do astronauts take up into the great unknown? Hanes? American Apparel? Perhaps something in a more athletic fit, like Body Armor? Try again. According to astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is returning to earth from months at the International Space Station, he's been sporting a brand new pair of J-Ware briefs. For the last few weeks. Straight. Without changing.
But don't worry. These aren't any ol' normal kind of underwear. These are high-tech briefs, designed by a team in Japan to be odor-free.
"I haven't talked about this underwear to my crew members," Wakata told The Associated Press, reportedly drawing a big laugh from his colleagues. "But I wore them for about a month, and my station crew members never complained for about a month, so I think the experiment went fine."
Wakata, who is due back on planet Earth on Friday, said the antistatic, flame-retardant underwear made his life in space very comfortable. The J-Wear line is designed by textile experts at the Women’s University in Tokyo, and is said to be made of anti-bacterial, water-absorbent, odor-eliminating material.
"We'll see the results after landing," Wakata said.
And remember, there are no showers on the space station.