Space travel: No longer a Hollywood dream

Space travel: No longer a Hollywood dream
Photo Credit: Kelli Oliver

Photo Credit: Kelli Oliver

I am sure many of you are space buffs, who want to be up in space at least once in your lifetime.

However, did you know that in space, just like on Earth, the presence of space debris or “space junk” may be a huge hurdle in making space travel a reality? According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), this space debris increases the potential danger to all shuttles travelling in space.  Thus, it goes without saying that something must be done to resolve this particular issue for any advancement in future space travel.

That being said, don’t fret. Mr Yasunori Yamazaki, Head of Brand Management of Astroscale Private Limited affirms that dreams of your very own space odyssey will be realised in the near future. He states that innovative solutions to issues of space debris are currently being developed and is confident that space travel will no longer be confined to Hollywood.

Founded in 2013, Astroscale has been actively involved in researching methods to effectively remove space debris for future travel in space. Their slogan “Space Sweepers” underpins their commitment to make space travel not only a reality but also a safe and pleasant trip for potential space travellers.

Photo Credit: Birgit Pauli-Haack

Photo Credit: Birgit Pauli-Haack

Moreover, in this technological era, the odds have changed. What may have seemed an impossible task in the past is now within sight, with space travel being no exception.

Just recently, Scott Kelly, an astronaut of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), returned from his historic 340-day mission stay in space. The main objective of this exercise by NASA was to gather firsthand information on the impact of the living conditions in space on human body, so as to make potential space travel for public a reality.

NASA may have taken out the first step in making “planet-hopping” a reality yet there are still many factors to be taken into consideration to for it to happen.

Photo Credit: NASA Johnson

Photo Credit: NASA Johnson

Do you know that exercise plays a significant role in the survival of the astronauts during their space journey? When astronauts embark on their space missions, it is highly recommended for them to perform a list of exercises. This is because in space, the near absence of gravity, also known as microgravity, results in astronauts losing their body and bone mass. But why is that so?

Due to microgravity in space, this will result in the reduction of function and loss of bone in the human bodies’ musculoskeletal system, a system that allows humans to walk, run and move. Moreover, the near absence of gravity will have an adverse effect on the transportation of oxygen in human bodies due to the significant decrease in red blood cells.

All of these factors will make astronauts weaker and so far, the only solution to increase blood circulation is through exercising in space.

According to Don Hagan, the director of exercise physiology at Johnson Space Center, he emphasised the importance of including exercises into the daily routines of the astronauts during their time in space.

However, exercise is still insufficient in reducing the toll microgravity has on the human body and therefore, more in-depth research is being conducted by NASA in order for space travel to become a reality.

Hydration in space

According to NASA, keeping oneself hydrated in international space stations is also critical to sustaining one’s health state. Astronauts in space should monitor their own hydration level in order for their body to function properly. Only then will the astronauts be able to carry out their exploration missions in space.

Photo Credit: Pocari Sweat

Photo Credit: Pocari Sweat

Since Pocari Sweat is the closest substitute to human bodywater (body fluid), and is capable of replenishing electrolytes lost during perspiration, they are launching a specially designed Lunar Dream Capsule  for delivery to the Moon containing Pocari Sweat powder, with the hopes that the beverage can be made with water found on the moon's surface one day. The POCARI SWEAT powder has also been approved by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to become Japanese Space Food.

Collaboration between Pocari Sweat & Astroscale

In addition, both Pocari Sweat and Astroscale, just like NASA, are spearheading the future spaceflight vision by hosting the “Lunar Dream Capsule Project”. The success of this mission will see Pocari Sweat being the first beverage on the mon and encourage a generation of youths to dream beyond the skies with their messages being sent up to the moon in the Pocari Sweat dream capsule. Pocari Sweat and Astroscale hopes to inspire these children to eventually return to the moon in the near future and rediscover the dreams they had penned down previously.

Photo Credit: Nicole Polii

Photo Credit: Nicole Polii

Yamazaki provided us with juicier insights on the interpersonal cooperation between Astroscale and Pocari Sweat.

I am confident that Pocari Sweat is the right stakeholder to engage in for our efforts to make space travel a reality. Together hand in hand, we work towards sparking off interests of the next generation for space travel and hopefully their attempts to come up with creative solutions to the hurdles obstructing a safe space travel.

- Yasunori Yamazaki, Astroscale

Pocari Sweat Run

Photo Credit: Run Society

Photo Credit: Run Society

The Pocari Sweat Run, to be held on 23 July 2016, is definitely one of the key platforms in spreading awareness on the potential of space travel and importance of hydration even in space.  The journey to the moon is estimated to be 380,000km. In its past 4 editions of the Pocari Sweat Run, the runners have covered a total distance of about 300,000km. With a remaining distance of about 80,000km, Pocari Sweat hopes to encourage runners to complete this journey to the moon together.

The run in itself supports and raises awareness for the mission of the Lunar Dream Capsule Project; the distance and effort it takes to launch the capsule from the Earth to the Moon. As Pocari Sweat's partner in the Lunar Dream Capsule Project, Astroscale will be present to share on this as well as its other space projects which will definitely be of interest to space lovers, such as the IDEA OSG 1, a satellite designed to detect small particle space debris.

Photo Credit: Laara Eakins

Photo Credit: Laara Eakins

Personally, I am really excited about the future of space travel because I know that what may have seemed impossible in the past is finally obtainable. As Yamazaki said, “Space is no longer a Hollywood dream”.