, India —
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,
�of the H-2A launch vehicle
, intends to aggressively look for customers in Asia to increase a
business that currently is limited
to a few government missions a year.
“We require at least four launch orders per year from our government to meet the high cost of developing technologies to provide state-of-the-art service,” Shoichiro Asada, general manager of the company’s space systems department, said Sept. 26 while speaking at the International Astronautical Congress here.
“But the number of missions is limited in Japan.”
Asada said the Japanese government buys an
average of two launches a year, but
not at a stable launch rate “because there will be only one mission some years or four missions in some years.”
So the company has to fill the gap with commercial missions for foreign customers, Asada
Asada told Space News in an interview that in 2008 Mitsubishi
expects to supplement the single government launch order
with two commercial launches. He did not give details.
that after having achieved a leadership position in launch vehicle technology, “it is required for us to discuss how to sustain the Japanese space industry.”