What spaceports will look like when it becomes commonplace, Business Insider reveals .
Despite hard times, commercial space travel remains a booming business. Billionaire companies: Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, Elon Musk's SpaceX are investing significant sums in the development of space tourism. The latter intends to launch the first group of tourists into orbit next year.
The Space Port Japan Association (SPJ), as well as the advertising and communication holding Dentsu, the design bureau Canaria and the architectural firm Noiz have shown their project Space City - the space city of the future. When commercial orbital flights become commonplace, passengers will be able to take off from such spaceports.
The SPJ project, slated for Tokyo, is primarily intended for commercial space shuttles that will take tourists on a two-hour walk into space. The shuttles will launch from a horizontal position like traditional aircraft, not like rockets that are launched vertically.
Travelers will need to arrive at Spaceport in advance to take fitness tests and training, which can take up to three days. On the day of departure, they will be delivered on board, and friends and family will be able to watch a live broadcast of the walk in the spaceport's waiting room.
In addition, Spaceport City will become a playground for space researchers, an educational academy for space exploration, and various events, including space fashion shows and international conferences. It is planned to build a hotel, 4D cinema, swimming pool, art museum, gym, aquarium and disco here. The restaurant and farm store will sell astronauts' food, including insects, seaweed, and vegetable-based meat.
Spaceport City's buildings and plazas are topped by a large roof covered with kinetic solar panels. Here you can set up gardens in the open and even arrange agricultural land, the designers say. All buildings are dominated by two skyscraper towers - one for departures, the other for arrivals. By them, the port can be recognized from space.
The entire port is a distinct “ecosystem” that has its own intelligent transportation system, including self-driving cars, autonomous trains and electric scooters. SPJ wants to build a cosmodrome in Tokyo as soon as possible: it should be operational within the next 10 years, becoming the first spaceport in Asia.
To make this a reality, the association called on more than two dozen companies to help, including Mitsubishi, Airbus Japan and Japan Airlines. "Space travel, which was once available to a select few, will be open to everyone," SPJ said in a press release.
Another Japanese region is now at the forefront of the space race: the island of Kyushu in the south of the country has been selected by Virgin space venture Orbit as the site of one of five airports to launch small commercial satellites into orbit. According to Virgin Orbit, a space mission from Japan could be launched as early as 2022.