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Japanese company aims to provide space travel by 2023

An image of the spacecraft that PD Aerospace aims to develop for commercial space travel by the end of 2023. (Photo courtesy of PD Aerospace)

The Nagoya-based company PD Aerospace Ltd. announced on Dec. 1 that it has received approximately 50 million yen from H.I.S. Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. as investment money toward its goal of achieving space travel by the end of 2023.

    Driven by the vision of CEO Shuji Ogawa, PD Aerospace is currently in the process of developing a fuselage, containing a new type of engine, that can carry up to eight people (six passengers and two crew members) into space.

    An unmanned trial run of the prototype to an altitude of 100 kilometers is scheduled for 2018, and if a manned mission is successfully achieved by 2020, the company hopes to commence its space travel enterprise by the end of 2023.

    The price of a trip into space is aimed to be about 14 million yen -- which is approximately 70 percent of that announced by American company Virgin Galactic.

    PD Aerospace aims to take passengers to an altitude of 100 kilometers, where they will be able to enjoy a "zero-gravity floating experience" for about 5 minutes, before returning to Earth.

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