Japan’s space agency JAXA will enter the international launch rideshare market by providing small satellite launch opportunities aboard the Mitsubishi H-IIA launch vehicle, as well the upcoming H3 rocket. For this, the agency has selected Japan-based Space BD as its sole official broker.
Presently, JAXA does offer cubesat launch services, but only from its Kibo module at the International Space Station (ISS). The space agency has also previously launched microsatellites as secondary payloads, but only rarely, and mostly for Japan-based companies and institutions.
The new rideshare services, Space BD says, will provide more diversified launch opportunities to preferable orbits, including to Lunar Orbit and beyond. Space BD says it hopes to support deep space missions which are expected in near future.
Said Co-Founder and CEO Masa Nagasaki, ““Space BD’s mission is to accelerate the industrialization of space… We aim to be one of the global industry leading companies. The current small satellite launch market has been occupied by great global players. However, I believe that by improving our values and strengths, namely, our committment, speed to market, and user experience, it is possible for Space BD to cut into the market. We will continue to provide our customers the best services and develop the value of Japan’s space industry assets.”