Satoshi Furukawa

Welcome to the official website for the "Integratedly Understand the New Controlling System of Life from Space Point of View" (abbr. "Living in Space.") As a doctor and astronaut, I have personally experienced extreme stresses during a five-and-a-half month stay in Space in 2011. I suffered, for example, from skeletal muscle atrophy due to zero gravity, a dull headache induced by body fluid shifts, biological rhythm dysfunction triggered by the enclosed environment, space radiation exposure, microbial risks, etc. I sensed the synergistic interactions among these factors and suspected that they might also be relevant challenges on Earth.

This suspicion eventually turned into a strong conviction that comprehensive and collaborative research on living in Space should be conducted. Therefore, I formed a scientific research team to focus on the biological risks and stresses encountered in Space in order to avert or mitigate them. I fully anticipate that our findings will also help our hyper-aging, stressful society. We have just been awarded MEXT's Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas to launch and conduct a five-year research project "Living in Space" (2015-2019).

Although some people may think that Space is disconnected to reality and irrelevant to daily life, this is not true. For example, if we successfully identify the phenomena that occur to our bodies in Space from the perspective of plasticity and failure of life forms, we will unlock secrets about the diversity of life (from microbes to humans) that cannot be identified in Earth-based research.

These findings may serve society's future needs, especially during our ultra-long-term stay or even settlement in Space, including Mars. They will also facilitate how to address problems with our hyper-aging, stressful society as well as enhance our lives on Earth. By drawing inspiration from other outstanding researchers, our team of experts is committed to conducting investigations from the distinctive perspective of "Space".

We believe that investigating life from Space may lead to the discovery of biological functions hidden in the global environment, which we currently take for granted. Due to our great ambitions, we strive to develop an academic theory on the maintenance and risks of homeostasis in a Space environment. In addition to ensuring that humankind can live safely in Space, our research will contribute to overcoming the difficulties peculiar to our hyper-aging, stressful society. We will shed light on muscle atrophy due to the living body's dependence on gravity, the impacts on the vestibular and the circulatory systems, stresses in an enclosed environment, sleep disorders, effects of exposure to radiation and ultraviolet rays, and the combined influence of all these factors. Moreover, we will be devoted to training young researchers as well as stimulating the imagination of future generations.

Satoshi Furukawa
Head of the Scientific Research on Innovative Areas
Living in Space