What follows is the sort of revelation that I could have lived without.
After circling Earth 2,208 times and enduring numerous near misses with speeding space junk, Koichi Wakata could be described as the kind of person who flies by the seat of his pants. But the Japanese astronaut proved during his 138 days in space that he is not the kind of person to kick up a stink about things.
Too much information. I mean, really. Can you imagine being cooped up in a big metal coffin a few hundred miles above the earth with a guy that you know is shitting himself two, three, four times a day?
As the space shuttle Endeavour prepared to return to Earth yesterday, bringing Mr Wakata home from the International Space Station, where he has been since March, he revealed that he had been wearing the same pair of prototype pants for a month, all in the name of science.
If Mr Wakata’s colleagues noticed that he had been skimping on his laundry, they were polite enough not to let on — and he refrained from bringing it up in conversation. “I haven’t talked about this underwear to my crew members,” he said during a pre-landing press briefing.
A hot shower, a shovel and a shave...
Mr Wakata, 46, ate a number of curries in space, along with Japanese-style dishes such as salmon rice balls. He said that upon his return to Earth he looked forward to eating fresh sushi and cold noodles and taking a hot shower.