The final days of May saw the space rocket factory at Tomioka in Japan become fully operational.
Opened by Nissan, the factory will develop and manufacture the second generation H-II commercial rocket that will first take-off in the early part of the 21st Century. It will also make parts for the forthcoming Japanese space-station, and supply boosters for a number of current Japanese rockets including the M-V, a scientific and engineering satellite launcher.
The Tomioka plant employs 800, covers 480,000m2, and has its own rocket-firing test-facilities. Other activities will include aerospace, and the development of leading-edge environmental and energy technologies. The plant itself is an `intelligent’ environmentally sensitive building with comprehensive waste-treatment facilities and energy-saving air conditioning and lighting systems.