Plant culture system for producing food, recycling materials and maintaining human health necessary for life support in space – Publicly Invited Research

  1. A01 Akiyama
  2. A01 Ochi
  3. A01 Chatani
  4. A01 Seiki
  5. A01 Nikawa
  6. A01 Kawakami
  7. A01 Tomita
  8. A01 Honda
  1. A02 Shinohara
  2. A02 Maekawa
  3. A02 Ohgami
  4. A02 Nishimura
  5. A02 Kawano
  6. A02 Iwase
  7. A02 Furuichi
  8. A02 Myung
  9. A02 Kitamura
  1. A03 Nakamura
  2. A03 Harada
  3. A03 Ide
  4. A03 Shirai
  5. A03 Kakinuma
  1. B01 Lazarus
  2. B01 Miwa
  3. B01 Kunieda
  4. B01 Shimada
  5. B01 Kitaya
  6. B01 Sawano
Research Subject Plant culture system for producing food, recycling materials and maintaining human health necessary for life support in space
Research Group Leader
Yoshiaki Kitaya
  • Yoshiaki Kitaya
    Professor, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University
    Website
    http://
Research Collaborator(s)
  • Hirai Hiroaki
    Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University
  • Sachiko Yano
    Researcher, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA
    (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy, MEXT)

It is important to understand how the space environment affects the life cycles and genetic variations of plants being grown for several generations in space. The plant biological information acquired from such understanding will prove useful not only for space biological sciences but also for constructing a "Controlled Ecological Life Support System" that includes space farming to support long-term manned space missions. For that purpose, a plant culture facility must be designed to investigate the effects of the space environment on vegetative and reproductive growth during plant life cycles over a long term in space. The facility will have functions to monitor plant biomass production, plant morphology, and gas and heat exchange between plants and surrounding air in a precisely controlled environment.
In this study, we construct a small-scale facility for conducting experiments in the ISS to obtain scientific knowledge from healthy plants. The outcomes will contribute to the progress of space plant biology and development of a plant culture system offering high yields with rapid turnover rates, converting atmospheric CO2 to O2, purifying water, and alleviating the mental stress of crew members in space.