In 2001 a wealthy American businessman and former Jet Propulsion Lab scientist made history when he became the first person to buy his way into space, embarking on an adventure to spend a week aboard the ISS. The deal was brokered through American company Space Adventures, which procured the use of Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. Since then, half-a-dozen other private citizens have taken part in these ultra-exclusive space tourism endeavors, plus a slew of other forthcoming orbital and sub-orbital tourism slated to commence in the coming years.
In preparation for this emerging space, a number of Japanese companies have joined forces to build the world’s first spaceport. Born out of a four-way partnership between the Space Port Japan Association, Dentsu, Canaria, and Noiz, the building will also serve as a convention center. Beneath the building will be a subway station connected to the rest of the area’s network of rail lines, while the roof of the ambitious architectural endeavor boasts open-air gardens and an enormous amount of integrated solar panels. This grand project will obviously take several years to complete, giving the space tourism industry time to catch up and grow to the size where the spaceport is needed.