Mamoru Mohri (spelling used on NASA site) was Japan’s first astronaut on STS-47, Spacelab-J, a cooperative venture between the United States and Japan, September 12-20, 1992. The crew conducted 44 experiments in life sciences and materials processing. Astronaut Mohri performed experiments that were televised to children in classrooms in Japan.
From Feb. 11-22, 2000, he was a mission specialist as part of the international crew aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-99. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission mapped more than 47 million miles of the Earth’s land surface.
In an interview with Tokyo Weekender in 2001, he was asked about the inspiration for televising experiments to classrooms. He said he included the educational program as a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space who perished in the NASA Challenger tragedy in 1986. Astronaut Mohri’s first televised experiment was a demonstration of weightlessness of an apple because Christa McAuliffe used an apple in her logo for her space classroom and in her NASA patch.
Mamoru Mohri is now the director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation which opened in Odaiba in 2001. He talks about the museum and space in an interview in Tokyo Weekender July 13, 2001.