Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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.