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Published:July 1997
Origin:Presented at 7th ISCOPS, Nagasaki, July 1997.

Since 1993 the Japanese Rocket Society has been carrying out a formal study program to determine how to establish a commercial service providing visits to low Earth orbit for fare-paying passengers (1, 2). Following the completion of the first phase of the study in 1995 with the publication of a report on the design of the "Kankoh-maru" SSTO VTOL passenger vehicle (3), a second phase of the study has recently been completed, including estimating Kankoh-maru's development and manufacturing costs, studying its operation from airports and potential business development scenarios, and considering requirements for accommodation facilities in orbit, and safety and regulatory issues. A third phase of the study has now begun.

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