Satellite Launch Complex and Runway Extension Construction Begins


Advancing Towards the Realization of a Silicon Valley of the Space Industry

Taiki Town, Hokkaido (Mayor Masato Sakamori) and SPACE COTAN Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Hiroo District, Taiki Town, Hokkaido; President and CEO Yoshinori Odagiri) held a groundbreaking ceremony and safety prayer ceremony on September 7, 2022 for the construction of the “Launch Complex-1 (LC-1)” for satellite launch and runway extension maintenance at the commercial spaceport “Hokkaido Spaceport (HOSPO)” in Taiki Town.

The ceremony was attended by approximately 170 guests, including Deputy Minister of the Cabinet Office Yoshimi Wada, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki, Chairman Norihisa Yonezawa of the Tokachi Aerospace Industry Base Promotion Council (Mayor of Obihiro City, Hokkaido), HOSPO’s supporting companies, and local stakeholders. The event celebrated the start of construction and prayed for the smooth construction and safety of the spaceport, which will be the core of the accumulation of space-related industries in Hokkaido.

Deputy Minister Wada, Governor Suzuki, Mayor Sakamori, and Speaker Yasuda of the Taiki Town Council perform the groundbreaking ceremony (from left to right).

Heading Towards a Hub Spaceport in Asia

HOSPO aims to create a “Silicon Valley of the Space Industry” in Hokkaido, where the aerospace industry is concentrated. It will provide rocket launch pads and testing grounds for space planes for domestic and international private companies, offering launch support as part of the aerospace industry’s infrastructure. Although HOSPO has already hosted rocket launches by private companies, the construction of the new LC-1 and a 300-meter runway extension will further enhance the spaceport’s facilities.

The detailed design and civil engineering work will be carried out by a joint venture of Nippon Koei Co., Ltd., Kurokawa Kisho Architect & Associates, Shimizu Corporation, and Miyasaka Construction Co., Ltd. LC-1 will be built on a site of approximately 26,800 square meters next to the existing “Launch Complex-0 (LC-0)” and will include a rocket assembly building and fuel supply plant. It is scheduled to be completed within FY 2023, and domestic and international operators, including Interstellar Technologies (Headquarters: Hiroo District, Taiki Town, Hokkaido; President: Takahiro Inagawa), will launch satellites using rockets.

The runway extension is expected to be completed in FY 2024 and will be used for suborbital space planes, next-generation air mobility experiments, such as flying cars and drones. In the future, HOSPO plans to develop “Launch Complex-2 (LC-2)” to accommodate high-frequency launches from domestic and international operators by FY 2025, aiming to become a hub spaceport in Asia. In addition, continuous development of launch pads beyond LC-2, and the construction of a 3,000-meter runway for P2P (point-to-point) transportation will expand the facility into a complex spaceport capable of accommodating vertical, horizontal, and balloon launches. Furthermore, HOSPO hopes to contribute to the development of the country through regional revitalization by the space industry and strengthening the competitiveness of various industries.

An image of the completed satellite launch pad “LC-1.” The fan-shaped land on the right is the existing sounding rocket launch pad “Launch Complex-0 (LC-0),” where private space venture Interstellar Technologies has successfully launched the sounding rocket MOMO and reached outer space. LC-1 is planned to be built next to LC-0.