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Astronaut Takao Doi performed Japan's first spacewalk.

The space shuttle Columbia was launched at 2:46 p.m. on Nov 19, 1997 (EDT) from Kennedy Space Center. The STS-87 mission lasted 15 days, 16 hours and 34 minutes with Columbia landing at Kennedy Space Center on December 5 at 7:20 a.m.

Mission Specialist (MS) Takao Doi's main activities

Extravehicular Activity (EVA)


  • First EVA
    MS Doi and MS Scott performed the first EVA of this mission from 9:02 a.m. JST to 4:45 p.m. (7 hour and 43 minute) on Nov 25. They manually retrieved the Spartan satellite and evaluated the EVA crane by handling a large Orbital Replacement Unit (ORU), such a crane will be used in assembly of the International Space Station.

  • Second EVA
    MS Doi and MS Scott conducted the second EVA of this mission from 3:09 p.m. to 8:09 p.m. (4 hour and 49 minute) on Dec. 3. They used the crane to move a small ORU instead of the large ORU and tested the AERCam/Sprint ( a free-flying video camera ), which could not be tested during the first EVA.
    Combined with the first spacewalk duration of 7 hours, 43 minutes, they spent 12 hours and 43 minutes outside Columbia's crew cabin.

Activities inside the cabin


MS Doi successfully conducted the Wetting Characteristic of Immiscibles experiment.

  • Photo-Video Operations
He performed photo and video operations during the Spartan deployment.

  • Earth observation
He took Earth observation photographs of several sites including the Ganges in India, Ethiopia, the Himalayas, and the Mississippi.

Shuttle Entry Operations support


MS Doi supported Commander Kregel and Pilot Lindsey during shuttle orbit reentry by monitoring instruments on the flight deck.

Status reports


A fifth report, art and sports scheduled on Dec. 4, was not made because of the second EVA.

VIP call


MS Doi received a congratulatory call for his work and mission at 5:51 p.m. on Nov. 26 in a special 15-minute call to Columbia from Sadakazu Tanigaki, Minister of Japan's Science and Technology Agency.

Public relations activities


MS Doi participated in the following PAO activities:
  • NBC Nightside and NBC Asian News interviews with all crew members on Nov. 23.
  • CNN International interview with Kregel and Lindsey on Nov. 27.
  • U.S. president Clinton call with all crew members on Nov. 28.
  • U.S. Radio stations interview with Kregel and Scott on Nov. 29.
  • NHK - NASDA interview on Nov. 29.
  • Crew activity report on Dec. 2.
  • The crew answered questions gathered from the NASA home page.

STS-87 Mission Overview


Orbiter Columbia (24th flight)
Launch time 2:46 p.m., November 19, 1997 (EDT)
Landing time 7:20 a.m., December 5, 1997 (EDT)
Duration 15 days 16 hours 34 minutes
Commander Kevin R. Kregel
Pilot Steven W. Lindsey
MS1 Winston E. Scott
MS2 Kalpana Chawla
MS3 Takai Doi
PS Leonid K. Kadenyuk

Main mission
This series of USMP missions mainly consists of microgravity science experiments. This was the fourth flight.
SPARTAN 201 is a solar physics free-flyer designed to investigate the mechanisms causing the heating of the solar corona and the acceleration of the solar wind. After the SPARTAN was deployed at 6:04 a.m. on Nov 22, it did not execute a preprogrammed pirouette maneuver. Mission Specialists Doi and Scott retrieved it manually during their first spacewalk.
This test was planned to evaluate the operability of extravehicular activity (EVA) tools such as an EVA crane developed for future International Space Station (ISS) assembly missions, and to demonstrate ISS assembly and maintenance operations by EVA.
NSAU (National Space Agency of Ukraine) and NASA conducted joint experiments to study the effects of microgravity on plant growth.
The MGBX is designed for materials handling and biological science experiments. On this flight, three microgravity physics experiments were conducted.
The GAS carrier system accommodates payloads in canisters which are mounted in the Shuttle payload bay on the sidewall or on a cross-bay truss structure. Several experiments were conducted.
Shuttle Ozone Limb Sounding Experiment (SOLSE), Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) and Na-Sulfer Battery Experiment (NaSBE) were conducted.

Last Updated : February 18, 1997



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