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MHI Launch Services

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Company History

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has played an important role in the development and manufacturing of Japanese space transportation systems from early on.

MHI began providing launch services with the H-IIA for both commercial and government missions in 2007. In 2013, the H-IIB was entered into commercial satellite launch services. We will continue leading development in the Japanese space industry while building up a successful record step by step.

Timeline: Development and Operation of MHI Vehicle Systems

1971 MHI takes part in the development of the N-I launch vehicle.
1975
  • Launch of the first N-I launch vehicle (Payload: Engineering test satellite type I "Kiku No. 1" (ETS-I))
  • N-I launch vehicle operations commence (Nos. 1 to 7).
1976 N-II launch vehicle development commences.
1981 Launch of the first N-II launch vehicle (Payload: Engineering test satellite IV "Kiku No.3" (ETS-IV))
1981
  • N-II launch vehicle operations commence (Nos. 1 to 8).
  • H-I launch vehicle development commences.
1986
  • Launch of the first H-I launch vehicle (Payload: Experimental geodetic satellite "Ajisai" (EGS))
  • H-I launch vehicle operations commence (Nos. 1 to 9).
1986 H-II launch vehicle development commences.
1992 H-I launch vehicle operations end (Nos. 1 to 9).
1994
  • Launch of the first experimental model of the H-II launch vehicle (Payload: Orbital re-entry experimental vehicle "Ryusei" (OREX))
  • H-II launch vehicle operations commence (Nos. 1 to 8)
1995 HTV (Notes) development commences.
1996 H-IIA launch vehicle development commences.
1999 H-II launch vehicle operations end (Nos. 1 to 6, and No. 8)
2001 Launch of first experimental model of the H-IIA launch vehicle (Payload: Payload 2 type "VEP-2" for H-IIA performance confirmation)
2002 MHI was appointed as the prime contractor for the launch services of H-IIA launch vehicle by the Japanese government.
2003 H-IIB launch vehicle development commences; MHI appointed as the primary company.
2007
  • MHI begins offering H-IIA Launch Services.
  • Successful launch of "Kaguya" (SELENE) aboard H-IIA Flight No. 13
2009 Launch of experimental model of the H-IIA launch vehicle (Payload: Technology demonstrator of HTV)
2013
  • Start of the H-IIB Launch Services
  • Successful launch of "KOUNOTORI4" (HTV4) aboard H-IIB Flight No. 4
2014
  • Successful launch of Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) aboard H-IIA Flight No.23
  • MHI was appointed as the prime contractor for both the launch services and the development of Japan's next generation launch vehicle by the Japanese government.
  • Successful launch of Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) aboard H-IIA Flight No.24
  • Successful launch of Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (Himawari-8) aboard H-IIA Flight No.25
  • Successful launch of Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" aboard H-IIA Flight No.26
2015
  • Successful launch of "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) aboard H-IIB Flight No. 5
  • Successful launch of Telstar 12 VANTAGE aboard H-IIA Flight No. 29
2016
  • Successful launch of X-ray Astronomy Satellite "ASTRO-H" aboard H-IIA Flight No.30
  • Successful launch of Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-9" aboard H-IIA Flight No.31
  • Successful launch of "KOUNOTORI6" (HTV6) aboard H-IIB Flight No. 6
  • Notes HTV: Abbreviation of H-II Transfer Vehicle. The HTV will carry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS)

Development of Liquid type Launch Vehicles in Japan

  • Development of Liquid type Launch Vehicles in Japan (Courtesy of JAXA)
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