The Next Generation Supersonic Transport is a supersonic transport (SST) being developed by the Japanese Space Agency JAXA. By comparison to the Aérospatiale-BAC SST Concorde, the new design will carry three times the passengers (300), fly at roughly the same speed (Mach 2) 1,522.4 miles per hour (2,450.1 km/h), and have twice the range. The goal is to achieve a ticket price comparable to that of subsonic business class. JAXA expects to launch the plane by 2015. An 11.5-meter prototype was tested on October 10, 2005.
One of the most crucial factors in the commercial viability of a supersonic transport is the strength of the sonic boom it generates. The boom created by Concorde was powerful enough to prevent the aircraft from flying supersonically over land, thus eliminating many possible passenger routes (and contributing to the cancellation of Concorde's American rival, the Boeing 2707). Since the 1960s however, a number of techniques have been developed that may reduce the effect (see the sonic boom article). On May 9, 2008, JAXA announced it would collaborate with NASA to conduct joint research on sonic boom modeling.
JAXA is also researching hypersonic transport (Mach 5.0+) 3,806 miles per hour (6,125 km/h), though the goal is not use for commercial aircraft cost competitive with current aircraft.