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.
The 174-foot-tall (53-meter) rocket launched at 0650 GMT (1:50 a.m. EST) Tuesday from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, and it deployed the Telstar 12 Vantage communications satellite in orbit nearly four-and-a-half hours later.
Tuesday’s launch, which occurred at 3:50 p.m. local time in Japan, marked the first dedicated commercial flight of Japan’s H-2A rocket and the debut of several upgrades to its second stage.
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