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Aerospace & Defense

Space enthusiasts in Japan ready to launch their own satellite

Amateur group Ryman Sat Spaces set to send 'selfie' unit into cosmos

A Ryman Sat project member checks an ultrasmall satellite unit in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. (Photo by Kai Fujii)

TOKYO -- Interest in commercial aerospace is growing among amateurs in Japan, with enthusiasts assembling rockets and satellites by trial and error. As the space business grows around the world, amateur builders and launchers, including office workers and students, are challenging the idea that outer space is the sole domain of professionals.

"Let's disassemble it and replace the component," says a voice at a small workshop in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward. Spread out on a table are several components. In the center is a satellite, one side of which measures about 10 cm. The person who suggests replacing the part is working away in a sweatsuit.

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