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  1. japan space agency jaxa 2017 launch of ss 520

    Japan Launches Smallest-Ever Satellite-Carrying Rocket

    It’s what you do with it that matters. This weekend the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the world’s most compact satellite-carrying rocket, a 33-foot-long SS-520 that delivered a 13.6-inch surface-imaging microsatellite into low orbit. A technical fault prompted JAXA to abort the rocket’s last attempted launch in January 2017, but now it’s leading the spaceflight industry in sending smaller payloads aloft. Others, such as New Zealand’s Rocket Lab, are doing similar projects, with an eye toward reducing the cost of launching useful devices into orbit.

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