Tokyo, Japan, Jan 12, 2009 – (JCN Newswire) – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to launch the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 (KOMPSAT-3). The transaction, which Mr. Hideaki Omiya, President of MHI, signed in Korea recently, represents the first satellite launch services order placed to MHI by an overseas customer. The launch is slated to take place in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.
The KOMPSAT-3 mission objective is to provide satellite earth observation continuing from the KOMPSAT-1 and KOMPSAT-2 systems. KOMPSAT-3 is capable of higher image resolution than KOMPSAT-1 and -2 and can provide high-resolution electro-optical (EO) images required for GIS and other environmental, agricultural and oceanographic monitoring applications. It will operate from a sun-synchronous orbit.
KOMPSAT-3, which measures 2 meters in diameter and 3.5 meters in height, will be transported by ship from Korea to Tanegashima in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture for launching by MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle at the Tanegashima Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Simultaneously launched by the same launch vehicle will be JAXA’s GCOM-W (Global Change Observation Mission – Water), which is to undertake water-related observation from the sun-synchronous orbit.
Based on the KARI’s request in 2007, MHI has proposed a launch services for KOMPSAT-3 by the H-IIA, and in October 2008, MHI has been selected by KARI as the Successful Bidder for the launch services provider (LSP). Through subsequent detailed negotiations, KARI and MHI agreed to finalise the contract.
The H-IIA launch vehicle is Japan’s key launch vehicle, having already successfully concluded 13 of 14 launches. Since the seventh launch in February 2005, the H-IIA launch vehicle has recorded eight consecutive successful launches, a success rate equal to those of LSPs in Europe and the U.S. MHI plans to launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) by H-IIA No.15 in January 2009.