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Canon and partners are planning Japan’s first private rocket launch site, report


We reported about Canon’s efforts to conquer outer space in the past. Here is another step Canon is making in the company’s space race.

Nikkei Asian Review:

TOKYO — Canon Electronics, IHI Aerospace and two other partners are looking to build the first private-sector rocket launch site in Japan by 2021, a major step forward for nongovernment players in the space sector here.

The location, specializing in small rockets, will be operated by a joint venture founded last summer by the Canon> and IHI units with general contractor Shimizu and the Development Bank of Japan. They are looking to begin construction in the Wakayama Prefecture town of Kushimoto, at the southernmost point of the main Japanese island of Honshu. A final decision will come after a geological survey.


The new site would allow civilian players greater freedom in scheduling launches, instead of working around the government’s plans. The quartet also aims to be able to launch 100kg-class small satellites at about a tenth of the cost of the H-IIA rocket, one of JAXA’s mainstay launch vehicles.

The joint venture previously announced plans to develop its own small rocket and could start taking orders for satellite launches by the end of the year. It plans to send up the first such rocket from the new site in 2021.

Canon works to build low-cost rockets for satellites, high-resolution earth-imaging-systems (with EOS 5D Mark IV), and they even launch their own satellites. To see all Canon space efforts we covered click here.

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