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Photos: H-2A rocket launches satellite for Canadian company

A powerful H-2A launcher, boosted by four strap-on rocket motors and an upgraded second stage, lifted off from Japan on Tuesday with a multipurpose communications satellite for Ottawa-based Telesat. Check out photos of the H-2A rocket soaring into clear skies.

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    Flying its most complex mission to date, a Japanese H-2A rocket fired off a launch pad and roared into space from southern Japan on Tuesday, heading for an on-target deployment of the Telstar 12 Vantage communications satellite four-and-a-half hours later.
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    After a brief delay to chase away a boat from offshore waters, Japan's H-2A rocket launched at 0650 GMT (1:50 a.m. EST) with the Telstar 12 Vantage telecom satellite. The launch from marks the first flight of an H-2A rocket with an upgraded upper stage, and the launcher's first dedicated commercial mission.
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    A Japanese H-2A rocket is set for liftoff Tuesday on its first fully commercial mission, carrying a communications satellite for Telesat of Canada that will bridge the Atlantic Ocean with expanded coverage for television broadcasters and mobile users from Latin America to the Middle East.
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