Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. 7011 and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency made their first commercial satellite launch today in a challenge to European and Russian services.
A Korea Aerospace Research Institute satellite was onboard an H-2A rocket that blasted off at 1:39 a.m. from the Tanegashima Space Center, which is on a Pacific Ocean island off the southern coast of mainland Japan, according to a statement from JAXA on its website. The rocket also carried a Japanese satellite.
Japan has begun to compete with Evry, France-based Arianespace, the world’s largest commercial satellite launcher, and Russia’s Proton to find new revenue for its space program. The nation launches as many as three H-2A rockets a year under a program run by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy since 2007.
Read the rest of the story: Mitsubishi Heavy Makes Japan’s First Commercial Satellite Launch.