Mitsubishi Looks to Abroad To Fill H-2A Launch Manifest

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  Space News Business

Mitsubishi Looks to Abroad To Fill H-2A Launch Manifest

By K.S. JAYARAMAN
Space News Correspondent
posted: 12 October 2007
02:48 pm ET





Hyderabad
, India —


Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,




maker




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




said.





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.



Asada said




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.”