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Aerospace & Defense

Japan launches reusable rocket project, chasing Musk's SpaceX

Joint initiative with private sector aims to slash costs by more than 75%

The H-IIA rocket, one of Japan's main rockets, is not designed to be recovered after launch.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's national space agency will work with nearly 30 Japanese companies and institutions to develop reusable rockets with the goal of reducing launch costs to less than a fourth of current levels, Nikkei has learned.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and ANA Holdings are included in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project, which aims for a maiden reusable rocket launch by 2030. The move is designed to boost cost competitiveness to the level of global market leader SpaceX, run by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk.

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