Japan is looking to follow China by launching its own manned space programme within the next decade.
To get astronauts in to space there are plans to develop a capsule or space plane by 2022 as well as the potential for point-to-point suborbital flights. JAXA are planning two potential capsule designs, a smaller one similar to SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft and a larger 19,800-pound vehicle with greater landing maneuverability. The concepts were presented at the International Astronautical Federationís meeting in Naples.
In addition to the new vehicles, the agency will be looking to develop a new rocket to launch them in to space. The H-X rocket will be built primarily by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and is due to become operational in the 2020s.
"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."
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Source: Live Science
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