Japan to Develop Spaceships as Intercontinental Passenger Flights by 2040

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:25 AM, May 17, 2021
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Japan to Develop Spaceships as Intercontinental Passenger Flights by 2040
Image for representation only.

Japan is gearing up to introduce intercontinental spaceship transportation by 2040 that would allow one to travel between the world's major cities in two hours or faster by utilizing rocket technology.

The Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan predicts the market for spaceships departing from and arriving in Japan could reach roughly 5 trillion yen (about $46 billion) in 2040. Two forms of spaceships are envisioned: one which can take off and land on runways like airplanes, and the other which can take off and land vertically like the Starship launch vehicle being developed by SpaceX in the United States, local media reported.

On May 12, the ministry compiled an interim draft of its roadmap for future spaceship transportation.

First it plans to halve the price of the H3 rocket from $46 million by reusing parts. The roadmap aims to launch H3's successor rocket around 2030, and to further reduce the cost to about 10% in the early 2040s. Next, by utilizing techniques such as reusing rocket parts, the private sector will lead development of transport vehicles that can go back and forth between the ground and space frequently. These are expected to be spaceships that passengers can board.

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