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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Space tourist tests bodgie 'boomerang'

Boomerang
Space cadet ... Takao Doi's whacky experiment worked.

IN an unprecedented experiment, a Japanese astronaut has thrown a boomerang-like object in space and confirmed it flies back much like on Earth.

Astronaut Takao Doi "threw a boomerang and saw it come back" during his free time on March 18 at the International Space Station, a spokeswoman at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.

Doi threw the boomerang after a request from compatriot Yasuhiro Togai, a world boomerang champion.

"I was very surprised and moved to see that it flew the same way it does on Earth," the Mainichi Shimbun daily quoted the 53-year-old astronaut as telling his wife in a chat from space.

The space agency said a videotape of the experiment would likely be released later.

Mr Doi travelled on US shuttle Endeavour on the March 11 blast-off and successfully delivered the first piece of a Japanese laboratory to the International Space Station.

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