Hokkaido, Japan, December 2023 – Taiki Town Office and SPACE COTAN Co., Ltd., which jointly develop and operate “Hokkaido Spaceport”(hereinafter referred to as “HOSPO”), a commercial spaceport open to the private sector in Asia, announced that Innovative Space Carrier Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “ISC”) has successfully accomplished the first static fire test for their small launch vehicle at HOSPO’s runway.
ISC is developing a high-frequency, single-stage, reusable space transportation vehicle, aiming to create a next-generation space transportation business by significantly reducing transportation costs while maintaining high reliability.
ISC is focused on building tripropellant rocket system that uses three types of propellants (hydrogen, methane, and oxygen) to improve combustion efficiency and reduce the overall weight of rocket.
This is the first successful static fire test in Japan using a tripropellant rocket system.
In addition, ISC is also developing a unique data platform to accelerate the development process of the rocket system.
Test title: Static Fire Test using a tripropellant system
Objective: Confirmation of combustion of tripropellant engine and validation of rocket development platform
Propellant: Hydrogen, methane, and oxygen
Timeframe: December 19th, 2023 to December 20th, 2023
Place: Hokkaido Spaceport Runway
Burning time: 10 sec.
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Japanese government supports private rocket development. Increased need for spaceport for private use.
The global space market is expected to grow to a huge market of more than 1.1 trillion USD by 2040, nearly three times the current market size, due to the expansion of the private space sector, the growing importance of the security sector, and the proliferation of small satellite services using satellite constellations. Demand for space transportation services is also growing, but supply is short, creating a bottleneck in the industry.
In Japan, based on the Basic Plan on Space Policy(*1) approved by the Cabinet in June 2023, it was clearly stated that access to space should be secured without dependence on other countries and that independent space activities should be realized. As a specific policy, the Small and Medium Business Innovation Promotion Program(SBIR Phase 3)(*2) was launched to promote the practical application of advanced technologies by venture companies.
This program targets deep-tech R&D-oriented companies in fields such as space, nuclear fusion, and disaster resilience. The allocated funding for the space transportation sector is JPY 35 billion for the SBIR program, with a maximum grant of JPY 14 billion per company. Japanese government support for private sector rocket development and commercialization has begun in earnest.
ISC, along with Interstellar Technologies Inc. and SPACE WALKER Inc., have been selected for the SBIR Phase 3 program. All three companies have conducted and plan to conduct launches and experiments at HOSPO.
This further increases the need for launch and testing sites available to the private sector. HOSPO, as a commercial spaceport for private use, will provide a launch vehicle development environment for various launch vehicle operators.
*1: Source: Cabinet Office, Government of Japan , Website
*2: Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology(MEXT)Website