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Canon fires another small rocket into space

canon rumorsNext episode of Canon’s space saga. Previous episodes can be seen here.

As Nikkei Asian Review reports, Canon was set to launch another mini-rocket into space on February 2nd.

TOKYO — A number of Japanese companies have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to get commercial launches of small rockets off the ground. But they have not given up.

Canon Electronics and Interstellar Technologies both failed in their first attempt to launch a small rocket. Having learned from the missteps, they are set to try again soon. If they succeed before the full enactment in November of a law governing the commercial use of space in Japan, their chances of turning their launch businesses into moneymakers will improve significantly.

Canon Electronics is set to fire off its SS-520 minirocket, possibly as soon as Feb. 3. The rocket, which is a little bigger than a utility pole, was developed by Japan’s space agency, JAXA, and has a control system made by Canon Electronics and others. It will take off from JAXA’s Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, in southwestern Japan.

The company’s first launch, in January 2017, was a near miss. The rocket successfully lifted off the launch pad, but ground controllers soon lost contact. Fearing that it might fly out of control, JAXA shut down the engine, plunging the rocket into the sea. The satellite and control system that were scheduled to be tested during the flight sank beneath the waves.

Read the report at Nikkei Asian Review.

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