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Tokyo startup plans to launch Japan’s 1st commercial space station

NASA / Roscosmos / Handout via Reuters
The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking in October 2018

A Tokyo-based startup is planning to build a commercial space station in what will be the first project of its kind by a Japanese company, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The move by DigitalBlast, Inc., which aims to launch the station’s first module by 2030, comes at a time when several U.S. companies have already announced their own space station projects.

According to DigitalBlast, its envisioned station will mainly consist of three sections: the service module, which will serve as the crew’s sleeping quarters; the experiment module, which will be used to store samples and refuel asteroid explorers; and the entertainment module, where the crew can play sports and enjoy other activities.

The startup believes that construction will cost several hundred billion yen. The company plans to launch the service module by 2030, followed by the other sections.