Tucked away in high-tech laboratories at Tokyo University of Science, a team of 30 researchers led by Chiaki Mukai are exploring new ways to keep people alive on a possible lunar or Martian colony.
"It's in our nature to explore Earth is too small for us, do not you think?" Asked Mukai, a petite and energetic 66-year-old who spent more than 500 hours in space on two different missions.
Human space exploration begins a new era, Mukai said with commercial ventures such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and US President Donald Trump's promise to go beyond the Moon and toward Mars.
The billionaire entrepreneur Musk has great visions for private space exploration. He sends tourists into orbit around the moon and finally colonizes Mars.
In December, Trump led the US space agency NASA is building a lunar base as a first step in a mission to Mars.
"It is very realistic to build a colony on the moon by 2030," said Mukai, who said that people need to think beyond the International Space Station. what she described as a "campsite" ̵
One of the innovations of their team is a unique food production system that uses liquid plasma by passing high-voltage electricity through a saline solution
This reduces the harmful algae that are normally produced when water is grown in water and tests that Simulating conditions in space has shown that potatoes can be bred faster and more efficiently with this system.
The Space Colony Research Center has also developed a system for generating electricity using tiny thermoelectric sensors the size of an iPod Nano
The colony should be kept at comfortable room temperatures, but outside it would fluctuate between 130 degrees Celsius) during the day and -230 at night.
The technology exploits the difference in the Temperature – heat flow – between n and outside to generate enough electricity to "provide a whole space colony," said Tsutomu Lida the project.
"The same device can be used day or night, there are no moving parts, so no maintenance is required," said Lida.
Another team is working on the early detection and capture of space debris.
More than 29,000 pieces with a diameter of at least 10 centimeters orbit the earth and could pose a threat to potential space colonists
Space Flight Attendant
Mukai, the beginning of the year the center as part of Tokyo University of Science founded, said many of the technologies they work on have applications here on earth.
"Not only are we developing the technology for a lunar base, but as a spin-off we can solve many of the problems that we need to solve on Earth, she said.
For example, she said hydroponic technology – cultivation of food without soil – could be missing valuable resources and minerals in sub-Saharan African countries.
Mukai said she was "safe" She would see a fully functioning Moon Colo She was used to returning to space as an example to her former colleagues and US -Astronaut John Glenn, who went into orbit at the age of 77.
The former cardiac surgeon said this with her medical expertise and extraterrestrial experiences. "It could be very useful for future commercial flights in space tourism.
"My dream is to get a job as a flight attendant in a commercial space flight, so I can help get people to the moon," she said, laughing.  (This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)