By Chris Hogg
BBC News, Tokyo

Feb 8, BBC News

The Japanese have a reputation for single-mindedly pursuing the kind of scientific or engineering projects other countries are less inclined to see as a priority.

Japan is the country, after all, which has all but perfected the electronic toilet and yet still endeavours to better the design.

Professor Shinichi Suzuki of the University of Tokyo is the latest slightly eccentric pioneer.

His team is testing a paper aeroplane they want to launch from the International Space Station to glide back to earth.

The plan is to ask a Japanese astronaut who will travel to the ISS later this year to throw about 100 of the planes into space.

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photo: The planes were subjected to tremendous force (BBC)