[ExI] Japan Wants to Build Intercontinental Passenger Spaceships by the Early 2040s

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 03:54:43 UTC 2021

Elon studied this idea too.  The problem is market: the global nonmilitary
(since the military uses their own transportation for this) demand for such
fast travel is not enough to offset the cost of operation, let alone R&D.

On Mon, May 31, 2021 at 5:15 AM John Grigg via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> "A booming space industry is making it easier than ever to get into
> orbit, but Japan is betting that it could revolutionize terrestrial
> travel, too. The country’s science ministry has unveiled a plan to
> develop intercontinental passenger spaceships by the early 2040s.
> The idea of using spaceships to travel from one point on the Earth’s
> surface to another has been around since at least the 1960s, but the cost
> and complexity of the idea have meant it’s been little more than a pipe
> dream.
> In principle, the approach isn’t that different from the one used by
> intercontinental ballistic missiles. A rocket is used to blast the payload,
> be it a nuclear weapon or a passenger spaceship, on a big looping
> trajectory into space before re-entering the atmosphere on the other side
> of the planet.
> The approach could make it possible to travel between continents in under
> an hour, and now Japan has outlined it
> <https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210515/p2a/00m/0sc/013000c?mc_cid=67a7de0a4f&mc_eid=17e73a80fc>s
> vision
> <https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210515/p2a/00m/0sc/013000c?mc_cid=67a7de0a4f&mc_eid=17e73a80fc>
> for how to make the idea a reality. In a roadmap unveiled at an expert
> panel earlier this month, its science ministry put forward a two-phase
> plan it predicts could support a 5 trillion yen ($46 billion) market for
> spaceships departing from and arriving in Japan.
> Local reports on the strategy are light on detail, but it seems to rely on
> the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) achieving dramatic reductions
> in the cost of launching vehicles into space.
> The country’s next-generation H3 rocket
> <https://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h3/>, which is due for a maiden
> flight this year, costs roughly five billion yen, and the roadmap
> predicts that tactics like reusing rocket parts
> <https://singularityhub.com/2021/05/17/spacex-milestone-signals-reusable-rockets-are-becoming-mainstream/>
> will allow them to halve that cost by 2030, and get it down to as low as 10
> percent by the early 2040s.
> They will then rely on private companies to develop transport vehicles
> that can carry passengers. They envisage two different kinds of spaceships:
> a spaceplane similar to the space shuttle that can land on a runway like a
> normal aircraft, and one that lands vertically like SpaceX
> <https://singularityhub.com/tag/spacex/>’s reusable rockets."
> https://singularityhub.com/2021/05/30/japan-wants-to-build-intercontinental-passenger-spaceships-by-the-early-2040s/
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