Japan’s next rocket on schedule for 2020 launch


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A new Japanese rocket, the H3, being built by Mitsubishi and designed to cut launch costs by half, is presently on schedule for debut in 2020.

Key quote from the article:

JAXA has given MHI a greater level of influence on the H3 than it did with the H-2A. Ogasawara said whereas the total launch vehicle design for the H-2A was JAXA’s responsibility, MHI’s role as prime contractor and vehicle integrator gives the company more creative freedom. He stressed, however, that JAXA is still directly involved in the design and development for certain key components. “Therefore, we work together, JAXA and MHI, very closely,” he said.

I don’t know how much of that claim is true. That they are making it though suggests that they have been strongly influenced by the shift in the U.S. from NASA-run projects to commercially-run projects.

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One comment

  • LocalFluff

    Half is good. Then they only need another order of magnitude of lowered costs to start becoming competitive.

    H-IIA (should that brand name be written vertically?) only launches Japanese payloads, with rare exceptions for foreign secondary payloads. They don’t even try to compete commercially. It is a national prestige phallos without purpose.

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