H-2A rocket carrying four satellites blasts off from the Tanegashima Space Center

Japan launches H-2A rocket with South Korean satellite

Japan has successfully launched its first foreign-made commercial satellite.

The H-2A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan carrying a South Korean satellite and three Japanese satellites.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a private company in charge of HII-A rocket production since 2007, is hoping to compete with the US, Russia and Europe as a launch-vehicle provider.

It was its first contract to launch a foreign probe with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The launch vehicle flew smoothly and the South Korean satellite, Kompsat-3, separated after 16 minutes, followed by the Japanese satellites, Shizuku and two smaller probes, SDS-4 and Horyu-2.

Kompsat-3, was developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to monitor the environment, while the Shizuku satellite monitored climate change.

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