He joined the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan in 1985 and has been working in the Japanese manned space program since then. He conducted research on microgravity fluid dynamics at the University of Colorado from 1987 to 1988, and at National Aerospace Laboratory in Japan in 1989 as a visiting scientist. In 1992, he served as a backup payload specialist for the Spacelab Japan mission (STS-47). In 1994, he worked as a project scientist on the International Microgravity Laboratory 2 mission (STS-65).
Planned Spacelab-J shuttle mission. Cancelled after Challenger disaster.
OV-102 Columbia was launched on a microgravity science mission. Spartan 201 was released a day late on November 21. However the satellite did not start its automatic orientation maneuver because the crew failed to send it the correct commands prior to release.
Spartan was recaptured by hand, during a spacewalk by Takao Doi and Winston Scott on November 25. Tests of space station tools went well, but the free-flying Sprint camera subsatellite was not deployed due to lack of time.
NASA decided not to redeploy Spartan on this mission. During an EVA on Dec 3, Doi and Scott carried out more tests of the Space Station crane. They also deployed the AERCam/Sprint 'football' remote-controlled camera for a free flight in the payload bay.
Columbia landed on December 5, with a deorbit burn at 11:21 GMT. Touchdown was at 12:20 GMT at Kennedy Space Center.
Retrieved Spartan free-flier. Tested EVA tools and techniques.
Tested tools and techniques for extravehicular activity.