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This contest is fueled by the following news: One of the concerns that occupy the minds of people involved in space exploration is the fact that muscles on human beings waste away in zero gravity situations. As a result, new light weight sneakers have been created to assist astronauts in keeping their muscles in shapes while in space for an extended period of time. These sneakers also will be used to assist patients undergoing rehabilitation after long hospitalizations as well as for elderly men and women who want to keep up their strength. The sneakers are the brainchild of the Japanese company Asics and the Japanese Space Agency, JAXA. The first astronaut expected to wear the revolutionary sneakers is Takao Doi who is scheduled to take part in a United States space shuttle mission sometime in 2007. Takehiro Tagawa, the inventor of the shoes, stresses that in an environment with no gravity, human muscles become atrophied. The sneakers have a unique slant that stretch a wearer's calf muscles, even in a zero gravity situation as is experienced in outer space. The shoes also come complete with soft inner soles because feet tend to weaken in space as well. Finally, the shoe has a divider between the first toe and the remaining toes, similar to what is found in sandals and traditional Japanese socks. According to the designer, the divider makes it easier to stand in the shoes while on planet Earth. Asics introduced the sneakers, together with JAXA, after a Russian cosmonaut visited with the chairman of Asics and complained about how conventional sport shoes hurt his feet while in outer space. The sneakers specifically were designed for use inside space shuttles when an astronaut is not wearing his space suit. The company does intend to design and market even more shoes designed for wear in outer space in the future.