I was on the train and the countryside seemed to stretch miles away. Where I am travelling to only a few hours away from Tokyo, but in every sense of the word, it is a different place – countryside, small corner shops, temples and shrines, but most importantly one notices the sense of peace here.
I am greeted and driven to a relatively massive building. People are working at their desks and typing away. One sense is it is still too early morning for action, but the teams of engineers and business analysists were already busily working at their desks.
As I sat down to better understand PDAerospace, I am reminded of their mission: ‘Bringing Space Closer’ and as I listened to their mission, I have gained a better sense of what they are trying to achieve.
It appears that Founder and CEO Shuji Ogawa’s passion in space started in a much earlier age as it was borne from his childhood. In an interview with NewSpace People, he describes PDAerospace‘s services, ‘…will be space tourism containing a suborbital space flight over 100km above the Earth (Sea level) by fully reusable spaceplane. According to our current plan, the first customers will reach space by 2023 with the price of 14,000,000 yen (140,000 dollars) per person.’
When compared to other space flight providers like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin (price yet to be revealed), we could say it is still high and not within the reach of ordinary people. However, if we were to reflect with ordinary space flight the vision may well be to reduce the cost as demand for space flight increases in the future. PDAerospace is embarking on a wholesale change for space travel and human space flight and that also includes medium to a longterm vision of hyper and supersonic flights. Imagine flying from Tokyo to LA in 2 hours. That is a dream come true for many seasoned business travellers.
One of the joys of speaking and engaging with Newspace startups is that I know they are visionaries and they are the early adopters of technology. They are shaping the future and the way we perceive our realities. PDAerospace, are in many way among the likes of Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, SpaceX, with a view of changing and shaping future human space flight.
When discussing the idea of EU- Japan Collaboration, it appears that PDAerospace already has a lot on their plate and of course they are interested in working with European counterparts though in the most immediate sense there are more pressing domestic matters, like law and policy that needs addressing.
Housed in the well regarded and historically, the manufacturing hub of Japan – Aichi prefecture, I think PDAerospace could provide new inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups in the region.
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Originally written at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/newspace-nagoya-helen-tung/