Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have successfully launched Canadian communications satellite, Telstar 12 Vantage, using a rocket made in Japan.

The H-IIA rocket carried aboard the broadcasting and telecommunication satellite Telstar 12 Vantage, which will be operated by Telstar.

With the launch, Japan has entered a popular area by American and Russian companies.

The satellite was built by Airbus Defence and Space and carried 52 Ku-band transponders to replace the 38 carried by its previous satellite to improve broadband network on the ground. It will use broad regional beams and more focused spot beams to increase capacity.

Positioned at 15° West orbital location, the satellite has a lifespan of 15 years.

"This successful launch is a huge step for H-IIA to enter the commercial launch services market."

MHI vice-president Naohiko Abe said: "This is our first dedicated commercial launch of H-IIA.

"This successful launch is a huge step for H-IIA to enter the commercial launch services market.

"MHI intends to accelerate more aggressive marketing for H-IIA satellite launch services both in Japan and abroad, and also, to continue playing the key role in the Japanese space industry from now on."

Broadcast, corporate and government users in EMEA and the Americas, as well as maritime zones such as North Sea, Mediterranean, Caribbean and South Atlantic will be able to receive services from the satellite.

Telstar 12 Vantage, which weighs 4,800kg, was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. It expects to replace and expand on Telstar 12 satellite, owned and operated by Telesat.

Telesat president Dan Goldberg said: "This is the first of a new generation of Telesat satellites, our Telesat VANTAGE generation, with capacity optimised to serve the types of bandwidth intensive applications increasingly in demand across the satellite industry."

Image: The H-IIA lifts off Telstar 12 Vantage from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Photo: courtesy of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.