Living on the moon or other planets might seem like a lofty dream reserved to science fiction, and until now it has been.
A new research centre at the Tokyo University of Science, however, aims to change this. Led by Japan’s first female astronaut, the Space Colony Research Center will have 30 researchers dedicated to exploring ways that humans can live in colonies on the moon or Mars.
Her team is currently developing a food production system whereby potatoes can be more efficiently grown in space, using liquid plasma created by passing electricity through a saline solution.
They have also developed a way of producing electricity with very small thermoelectric censors which could be attached to a potential colony.
The United States and China might be dominating the modern space race, but the centre would represent Japan’s contribution to humanity in terms of space exploration and addressing global challenges, Mukai said.
“We are not only developing the technology for a moon base but as a spinoff, we will be able to help many issues that we need to solve on Earth,” she said, speculating that hydroponic technology they are developing could assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa that lack natural resources.
“It’s in our nature to explore,” added Mukai. “The Earth is too small for us, don’t you think?”
This article was originally published on our sister website Asian Correspondent.