Space Access ’11: Misuzu Onuki

Misuzu Onuki
Space Activities in Japan

  • Japanese space budget and revenues are both decreasing…
  • Only thing that is increasing: Number of companies that have stopped their space activities
  • Space revenues are almost the size of the government space budget
  • New Japanese Basic Space Law went into effect in 2009
  • Japan has a great potential to become a user of commercial spaceflight in terms of passengers and experiments
  • A lot of activities in terms of promotions (winning space trips)
  • Large Japanese companies are beginning development work on commercial space vehicles for last two years
  • Human spaceflight concept is beingg developed — HTV-R – with re-entry capsule
  • Concept for human-rated H-II rocket
  • No domestic company working on orbital facility — Japan has MOU with Bigelow Aerospace — one of six MOUs
  • Kibo Utilization Forum — 13 research groups working on different aspects of how to use Japan’s ISS module
  • Trying to develop a space washing machine
  • Working on creating a domestic Commercial Human Spaceflight Promotion Association in order to work on human spaceflight standards, regulatory structure and other matters

Japanese Study Looks at Improving the Quality of Life in Space

My friend Misuzu Onuki was in town over the weekend for the NewSpace 2010 conference. She’s doing some very interesting work in a sometimes overlooked area of space travel that will likely become increasingly important as more people venture out into the cosmos.

The JAXA-funded Quality of Life in Space project is looking at the essential elements that can make all the difference between a good stay in space and a bad one. How comfortable are the accommodations? What amusements exist? How good is the food? What does a traveler smell? Are amenities offered?

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Snuggle Tunnel to Make Zero G Hookups Possible

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Misuzu Onuki and Sam Coniglio demonstrate the snuggle tunnel - a collapsible unit that could make sex in zero gravity possible for space tourists.

For those interested in hooking up in zero G, you may be in luck.

Space Tourism Society Vice President Sam Coniglio has developed a prototype of the snuggle tunnel. This collapsible zero gravity love nest is designed to hook onto the bulkhead of a zero G habitat near a window. A couple could climb in and snuggle about while watching the Earth pass by.

Coniglio said that he hopes the test the prototype snuggle tunnel on a zero gravity plane in the near future with two student volunteers.

Space Fashion Hits the Big Apple

There is an interesting piece excerpted below about an upcoming space fashion design competition in New York co-sponsored by Rocketplane Global and SpaceFashion.org. The prizes? A contract to design fashion for millionauts and a flight into space. The question: will the winner be able to collect on that?

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High Fashion: Space Tourists, Dressed to Thrill

Air & Space Magazine has a piece on efforts to make sure that space tourists are well dressed in everything from futuristic pressure suits to wedding dresses. Rocketplane’s Misuzu Onuki and Orbital Outfitters’ Rick Tumlinson are featured. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic has hired superstar designer Philippe Starck.