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|Origin:||Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, AAS, pp 521- 528.|
Since early 1993 the Japanese Rocket Society (JRS) has been carrying out a "Space Tourism Study Program" to investigate what is required to establish a successful commercial service offering return flights to low Earth orbit for farepaying passengers. The Transportation Research Committee was established under the leadership of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and published the design of the "Kankoh-maru" reference vehicle in 1994. This committee is now studying the vehicle's development and manufacturing costs. The Business Research Committee was established in 1995 to study other aspects of the subject, including the facilities (both on the ground and in space) required by operating companies, possible business development scenarios, and preparatory activities.
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