Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is about to start a fashion revolution – in space. The astronaut is testing new clothes developed by Yoshiko Taya and colleagues at the Japan Women's University in Tokyo. These clothes have been created to be odor free, quick drying and to also provide insulation for the body. Thanks to these properties of the clothing, Wakata won’t need to change his clothes often.
While that may not sound like a very interesting prospect on Earth, it makes a lot of sense in space, where astronauts have to stay in the same clothes as long as possible, mainly due to the prohibitive costs associated with transport and the unavailability of water to wash clothing. The JAXA astronaut’s clothes appear to be working “as advertised,” after regular exercise aboard the ISS, Wakata’s clothes remained dry, while his crewmates had to deal with the old-fashioned sweaty clothes.
Once the trials have been completed, JAXA intends to make the clothing available to its partners. There’s also a chance that the clothing with anti-bacterial and deodorizing materials will be available commercially, on Earth.