A Japanese company hoping to build a suborbital tourism vehicle has received an investment from ANA Holding and a Japanese travel agency.
The airline, Japan’s largest by sales, invested ¥20.4 million ($179,000) into PD Aerospace in October, while H.I.S. Co., the nation’s largest publicly listed travel agent by sales, invested ¥30 million [$264,390] at the same time, the companies said in a joint statement with PD Aerospace Thursday.
PD Aerospace, founded in 2007, is vying with billionaire Branson’s commercial space company Virgin Galactic and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to ferry individuals to the edge of space in reusable craft. The Japanese company is first developing a smaller unmanned craft and will then build a ship capable of carrying as many as eight people 100 kilometers above the Earth.
“We need bigger investments in the future,” PD Aerospace President Shuji Ogawa told reporters in Tokyo. Creating a space craft is “taking longer than planned because we didn’t have the funds,” he said.
The company is aiming to start commercial flights with a manned craft in December 2023, it said in the statement. Its website listed 2020 as the targeted year.
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