• Kyodo


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Tuesday it will launch a communications satellite for Inmarsat, a British mobile satellite communication services provider, on an H-2A rocket in 2020.

It will be the fifth satellite launch order from foreign operators for Mitsubishi Heavy.

Mitsubishi Heavy has previously launched three satellites and one space probe for customers in Canada, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. The fee paid for the most recent satellite launch was undisclosed.

Inmarsat’s decision to launch its satellite on an H-2A rocket “reflects the reliability and on-time delivery of our launches, as well as our highly valued technological expertise,” Mitsubishi Heavy said in a statement.

The H-2A is Japan’s primary launch vehicle, and was developed jointly with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Since its first launch in 2001, the rocket has been successfully launched 34 times with one failure, yielding a success rate of 97.1 percent. Following its only failure in 2003, the space vehicle has had 29 successful launches in a row.

However, the launch costs of an H-2A rocket are relatively high by international standards.

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