Mitsubishi launches rocket carrying British satellite

Kyodo -- Dec 23
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Thursday it successfully launched an H-2A rocket carrying a British communications satellite from Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, with the satellite entering its planned orbit about 26 minutes after liftoff.

The rocket carrying the first of two Inmarsat-6 satellites of Britain's Inmarsat Global Ltd. was launched at 12:32 a.m. following a one-day delay due to poor weather.

Liftoff was also pushed back by about an hour as the Japanese manufacturer conducted a final check of the rocket, finding no abnormalities.

The H-2A rocket, measuring 53 meters in length and with a 4-meter diameter, lifted off with four solid-fuel boosters to carry the heavy satellite.