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Tuesday, 27th August 2013
In Business In Japan,

'Irregularity' shuts down Japan rocket launch

Japan's ambitions to muscle in on the growing satellite launch industry have been dealt a blow following the cancellation of the country's latest rocket launch.

The Epsilon rocket was due to soar into space this morning (August 27th) but the vehicle failed to lift off at the end of the countdown, with Japanese media blaming the failure on an "irregularity".

"This was the first flight and it was already postponed once and now will be postponed again," said Yukihiro Kumagai, an analyst at Jefferies and Co Securities in Tokyo.

However, he added that the failure was unlikely to have much influence, especially considering the rocket is not due for another mission until 2015.

Space companies from the US have, until recently, had a monopoly on the much-coveted satellite launch industry, although the market has diversified drastically over the past few years with the entry of European competitors such as Arianespace. 

Written by Mark Smith