Japanese multinational IT company NEC Corp. is rumored to be planning on investing ¥10 billion yen (approximately $114.5 million) to establish a new factory in Tokyo that will produce low-cost space satellites for emerging countries. Sources are claiming that the multi million company is looking to begin the production in fiscal 2014, which begins in April of that same year.
NEC plans on manufacturing small satellites at the plant to be erected in the suburb of Fuchu, as part of the country’s joint effort with the central government to help Japan obtain contracts from other countries that are looking to build and launch their own satellites. While the ¥10 billion yen figure is seen as a competitive cost on the worldwide scale for building and launching a commercial satellite factory, NEC has already been successful in cutting down the cost of producing small satellites and other related equipment to prices between ¥6 billion and ¥8 billion (approximately $68.7 million to $91.6 million).
Japanese engineering firm IHI Corp. has already developed a rocket worth ¥3 billion yen ($34.4 million) that is able to carry a small satellite into space. When merged with NEC’s satellite, the Japanese public-private consortium will be able to offer a launch package that is competitive.
The new plant of NEC, which will be outfitted with a vacuum chamber for durability and performance testing, will have the capacity to manufacture and assemble eight satellites at a time.
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