Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. has won an order from major British satellite communications service operator Inmarsat for a new H-3 launch vehicle, the first such order from the private sector, according to the Japanese company.
The value of the order was not disclosed.
A commercial satellite of Inmarsat will be launched on the rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture in 2022 at the earliest.
The H-3 rocket is being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The launch of the first H-3 rocket is scheduled for fiscal 2020.
Mitsubishi Heavy aims to limit the launch cost of an H-3 rocket to some ¥5 billion, about half of that of the current H-IIA rocket.