Tag Archives: H-III

Japan begins testing new rocket engine

Capitalism in space: Japan has begun testing the rocket engine it will use in its next generation rocket.

The H-III will succeed the country’s current H-series rockets, H-IIA and H-IIB. The rocket will use commercially available components and a fuselage that can be mass produced, lowering launch costs to about half of the current price tag of approximately 10 billion yen ($88.6 million). The new, more powerful engine will allow the H-III to carry a midsize to large satellite weighing up to 6.5 tons — 60% more than the H-IIA.

If I understand this correctly, a launch with this new rocket will cost about $45 million, which will make it very competitive with SpaceX. At the same time, it is not as powerful, which means it will not serve the exact same customer base. Instead, its capacity makes it a direct competitor to India’s GSLV Mark III rocket.

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