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VIENNA (Kyodo) Astronaut Takao Doi became a section chief at the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna on Thursday, starting a two-year stint as the first astronaut to work at the office.

Doi, the first Japanese to exit a vehicle in space in 1997, was selected for the post through open recruitment. He will be involved in such work as developing a system to disseminate observational data collected from satellites to countries affected by natural disasters.

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