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Aerospace & Defense

Japan rocket builders launch into satellite-based data services

Competition in traditional businesses push IHI, Mitsubishi Heavy into new fields

The two Japanese heavy machinery companies have long been developing and launching rockets.

TOKYO -- Japanese heavy equipment makers operating in the aerospace business are tweaking their strategies to focus more on satellite-based data services.

IHI Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are rolling out new services, including medium- and long-term weather forecasting and disaster damage assessments. They are responding to a changing environment in the satellite launch business -- a new era that will see countless small rockets lifting off from spaceports around the world, putting strong downward pressure on launch fees.

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