posted on Oct, 28 2012 @ 05:28 AM
According to livescience.com , Japan hopes to be launching astronauts aboard a manned capsule or space plane by 2022, and the nation is also eyeing
point-to-point suborbital transportation over the longer haul.
The capsule or mini-shuttle — which may resemble Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser space plane — would each accommodate a crew of three and carry
up to 880 pounds (400 kilograms) of cargo, officials with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said this month.
The mini-shuttle would weigh 26,400 pounds (11,975 kg) and land at one of five suitable runways worldwide. Because a launch abort from Japan’s
Tanegashima Space Center would mean a Pacific Ocean landing, the space plane would also have to be able to cope with the sea.
edit on 28-10-2012 by UltraMarine because: (no