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Aerospace & Defense

Scrubbed launch casts doubt over Japan's flagship H-IIB rocket

Unexplained fire ends perfect streak and threatens reputation

An H-IIB rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Sept. 10. The planned launch was cancelled due to a fire. (Photo by Naoki Watanabe)

TANEGASHIMA, Japan -- A last-minute cancellation of an H-IIB rocket launch Wednesday dealt a major blow to Japan's rocket program, which is at a crucial juncture as it moves from government to private-sector control.

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