Who is Takao Doi?
Doi holds a doctorate from the University of Tokyo in aerospace engineering, and has studied and published in the fields of propulsion systems, and microgravity technology. He researched at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science and was selected by NASDA as an astronaut candidate in 1985 for the Japanese manned space program while also conducting research in the United States at NASA's Lewis Research Center and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Doi flew as a mission specialist aboard STS-87 in 1997, during which he became the first Japanese astronaut to conduct a spacewalk.
Takao Doi visited the International Space Station in March 2008 as a member of the STS-123 crew. STS-123 delivered the first module of the Japanese laboratory, Kibō, and the Canadian Dextre robot to the space station. During this mission, he became the first person to throw a boomerang in space that was specifically designed for use in microgravity during spaceflight.