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JAXA begins testing engine for next-generation rocket

Japan hopes to become a major player with a low-cost satellite launcher

A successor to the H-IIA, tentatively named the H-III, is now under development. It is shown here in an artist's rendering.   © Courtesy of JAXA

TOKYO -- Japan's space agency is developing the main engine for its next-generation H-III rocket, which could see service in fiscal 2020. 

The H-III will be key to Japan expanding its presence in the global satellite launch market, which has been dominated by the U.S., Europe and Russia. This marks the first time in about 20 years that Japan has been developing main rocket engines.

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