R&D Program in Japan

Stardust Program

A development project that aims to craft strategies to create advanced resource-recycling food supply systems to support long-term lunar stays among other uses.

A consortium with SPACE FOODSPHERE as its representative organization is promoting the research and development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’(MAFF) Development of Advanced Resource-recycling Food Supply Systems to Support Long-term Lunar Stays Among Other Uses, a strategy project to be undertaken as a part of the Japanese Cabinet Office’s Space Development Utilization Acceleration Program (Stardust Program). The final goal of this project is to develop demonstration models for advanced resource-recycling food supply systems and QOL management systems that are novel and superior compared to global competitors, and to design a co-creative demonstration platform necessary for the demonstration of these systems.


Development of an advanced resource-recycling food system

e aim to develop a sub-scale functional demonstration model of an internationally unique and competitive resource-recycling food system that can sustainably secure almost all the nutrients and quality of life needed by four or more people.

Credit:FIELD assistant


Development of QOL management systems

The project aims to develop QOL management systems that are capable of supporting the maintenance of the mental and physical health as well as the interpersonal relationships of a crew of four or more people. Such a system will constitute of QOL observation systems that allow for continuous accurate situational assessments during long-term stays as well as demonstration models for food solutions geared towards environments marred by resource scarcity.


Designing of co-creative demonstration platforms

We will design mock lunar base facilities to run integrated demonstrations of the systems developed as solutions to Issue 01 and 02 outlined above. In order to implement our systems on the Moon in the future, we will design and develop prototype space experiment modules to verify the biological effects of living in an extraterrestrial environment.

Schematic Diagram of _Project Stardust

R&D Organization


Chiba university

Development of an advanced resource-recycling food supply system

Responsible organization
Development of higher plant production systemsPhoto
Development of artificial soil using lunar resources as well as the development of crop productivity improvement measures that combine breeding and growth control technologies, to be conducted on 8 core crops.
  • Chiba university
  • Plantx
  • NARO
Development of higher plant varietiesPhoto
Make full use of plentiful genetic resources and genome manipulation technologies among other methods to develop tasty, nutritious, new crop varieties as well as to utilize limited cultivation spaces to create the most efficient food sources possible.
  • NARO
  • Tsukuba unibersity
Development of lab-grown food production systemsPhoto
Development of an algae cultivation system using by-products of waste treatment as well as the development of cell culture-based meat production technologies.
  • Euglena
  • Tokyo Women’s Medical University
  • Integriculture
Development of resource recycling systemsPhoto
Development of a system that converts waste into inorganic nutrients while recovering the three major fertilizer elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), then supplies/utilizes them as nutrients suitable for plant and cultured food production.
  • Osaka Metropolitan University
  • NARO

Development of QOL management systems

Responsible organization
Development of QOL measurement/observation systemsPhoto
Development of a measurement and observation systems to determine the state of the crew's mental and physical health, interpersonal relationships, etc.
  • Field Assistant
  • Humanome Lab
  • SSD
Development of food support solutionsPhoto
Development of a local procurement and supply plan for food and other supplies, development of a long-term menu, and development of a food support system for the lunar base.
  • NTT data
  • Kewpie
  • Tsuji Culinary Institute

Designing of co-creative demonstration platforms

Responsible organization
Design of mock lunar base facilitiesPhoto
Design of a closed experiment facility that can accommodate four people, planned to be the same size as a lunar base to demonstrate the integrated systems designed for Issues 01 and 02.
  • International University of Health and Welfare
Design of space experiment modulesPhoto
Designing, prototyping, and ground testing an experimental module that will enable biological experiments on the effects of partial gravity and space radiation found on the ISS and the Moon.
  • CHIYODA Corporation
Initial design of an operational scheme for a simulated lunar base facilityPhoto
Create an initial design of an operational scheme to enable the sustainable operation of mock lunar base facilities.

JAXA etc.