Fuji: A Japanese space capsule

Quindar Beep

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As we all know, the Japanese manned space program (such as it was) focused on the HOPE-X spaceplane and really never went anywhere. It seems that NASDA eventually came to understand that their approach was hopeless (ahem) around 2001. From about September of that year until their transformation into JAXA they made some attempt to push a remarkably sober-looking spaceship that was something like a Soyuz built with Apollo hardware, with a few interesting twists thrown in.

Unfortunately Fuji, as it was called, disappeared down the memory hole when JAXA was formed and was never heard of again. Information about is extremely scarce, and largely consists of a few pictures and a press release from NASDA which can be found in various translations around the web. So imagine my delight when I came across what appears to be a copy of a Japanese language executive summary of their proposal in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, and furthermore that Google Translate could render into reasonably understandable English (barring an insistence that one of its authors is named "Righteousness Far Clams").

If you're interested, you can see the original document here: http://web.archive.org/web/20040603201811/http://giken.tksc.nasda.go.jp/Group/sentan/mission/2/index.html

...and the Google Translate edition here: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20040603201811%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fgiken.tksc.nasda.go.jp%2FGroup%2Fsentan%2Fmission%2F2%2Findex.html

(I do apologize for the horrible-ness of that last link)

If you'd like an executive summary of the executive summary, I've just finished putting it all together with the other hints and allegations about it that I've heard over the years and sticking it up on my blog: https://falsesteps.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/fuji-bringing-the-mountain-to-the-masses/
 

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Archibald

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Very interesting. Something I'd like to know is whether a capsule alternative was ever considered for HOPE in the first place (circa 1985).
If we compare with ESA: before Hermes were the Solaris and Minos reentry capsules; near the end was Bae Multirole recovery capsule (1988).
 
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