With the size and growth of commercial markets uncertain, launch companies are looking to government agencies to varying degrees for stability and funding for the development of new vehicles.
British satellite operator Inmarsat announced Dec. 5 it will be the first commercial customer of the next-generation H3 rocket from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan.
Seeking to double the number of launches it can conduct annually, Japan will add a second launch pad to the Tanegashima spaceport to support its next-generation H3 rocket.
Global satellite fleet operator Inmarsat said Sept. 12 that it has chosen Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch Inmarsat-6 F1 in 2020 aboard an H-2A rocket.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the prime contractor for Japan’s next-generation launch vehicle, the H3, says it is on schedule for a first launch in 2020, and will soon learn if the cost-cutting efforts pursued over the past three years will meet the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s goal of halving launch prices compared to the H-2A.