Dr. Takao Doi was born in 1954 in Tokyo. He received a Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautics in 1978, a Master of Engineering in 1980, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering in 1983, all from the University of Tokyo. He received a Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy from Rice University in 2004.
From 1983 to 1985, he studied space propulsion systems as a research student at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), and in 1985, he worked for the NASA Lewis Research Center as a National Research Council research associate.
In November 1985, Dr. Doi joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) as one of three Payload Specialists (PSs) for the First Material Processing Test (FMPT), which flew on the STS-47 (Spacelab J) mission. From 1987 to 1988, he studied microgravity fluid dynamics at the Center for Atmospheric Theory and Analysis, University of Colorado. From 1990 to 1992, he participated in PS training program at NASA in preparation for the FMPT mission. He supported the FMPT (STS-47/Spacelab J) mission as a backup PS at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in September 1992.
Dr. Doi was dispatched to Johnson Space Center (JSC) in March 1995 to join NASA's mission specialist training program. After a year of the training, he was qualified for flight assignments aboard the space shuttle as a Mission Specialist (MS). He flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on the STS-87 mission from November 19 to December 5 in 1997. During the 16-day mission, he conducted two Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) logging 12 hours and 43 minutes of spacewalk. During the first spacewalk, he manually captured a solar observation satellite and tested a space crane, tools, and techniques being developed for assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). In October 2001, he participated in ISS Advanced Training for a long duration mission aboard the ISS.
In May 2006, Dr. Doi was assigned as a crew member for the STS-123 (1J/A) mission.
Between March 11 and March 27, 2008, he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-123 mission which delivered the first element of Kibo, the Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS), to the ISS. During the mission, he installed the ELM-PS on the ISS using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). He was the first Japanese astronaut who entered the first Japanese ISS module on orbit. He also performed outfitting of the ELM-PS, and orchestrated transfer activities between the space shuttle and ISS as the mission's load master.
From September 2009 - March 2016, he served as D/1 Chief, Office of Outer State Affairs, Space Applications Section, the United Nations (UNOOSA).
Since April 2016, he has been a professor in the Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space at Kyoto University.
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