This floating spaceport in Japan could bring space travel to the city – CNN

This floating spaceport in Japan could bring space travel to the city – CNN

Written by Rebecca Cairns, CNN

Cylindrical steel and glass towers protrude through solar panels on the vast circular roof of the futuristic, four-story Spaceport City.

The spaceport rises from an island that floats in Tokyo Bay, with the skyscrapers of Japan’s capital in the background. It’s designed to launch tourists on day trips to space, where they will be able to see the building’s huge roof — as well as glimpse the curvature of the Earth and experience zero gravity.

If that sounds like a vision of the future, that’s because it is. But Noiz Architects — who designed the concept in collaboration with communications firm Dentsu, designers Canaria, and non-profit Spaceport Japan — hopes that the coming years will see a new generation of spaceports constructed as part of the urban landscape.

The spaceport will do much more than offer adventurous tourists the trip of a lifetime. It’s a day trip destination in itself, with lifestyle and education facilities designed to help earthbound visitors become “more familiar with space” says Urszula Kuczma, project manager at Noiz Architects.

The roof of the spaceport will be covered with solar panels.

The roof of the spaceport will be covered with solar panels. Credit: Space Port Japan Association, Dentsu, Canaria and Noiz Architects

The mixed-use space includes research and business facilities, an education academy, shops, a hotel, an astronaut-food restaurant, a 4D IMAX movie theatre, an art museum, a gym, an aquarium and a disco — all space-themed, of course.

To make the spaceport accessible, Noiz Architects’ design incorporates public transport with a network of bridges that carry electric cars and autonomous trains, seamlessly integrating the floating island with the city, says Kuczma. The idea,
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