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Canon takes step into space, seeks new frontier for growth

Japanese company places faith in maverick subsidiary as old businesses falter

Canon Electronics aims to sell its CE-SAT-I microsatellite for less than $9 million.

TOKYO -- A Canon subsidiary witnessed the first successful launch for one of its microsatellites Friday, lifting the Japanese electronics group into unknown territory as it fights to overcome stagnation amid a slump in mainstay operations.

An unusual tension gripped Canon Electronics' Tokyo headquarters as employees were riveted to a live broadcast of a rocket launch in India. When the countdown hit zero and the rocket blasted off, carrying the company's 65kg satellite, a sense of relief swept over the floor.

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