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Japanese Company Seeks to Launch Satellites for Hughes

July 03, 1996

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's Rocket System Co. said Wednesday it expects to sign a contract by August to launch satellites for GM Hughes Electronics Corp. using Japan's new H-2A rockets.

Rocket System's Hiroshi Imamura said it is negotiating with Hughes to launch more than one satellite from the Tanegashima Space Center after 2000.

Kyodo News said that Rocket System's plans call for launching more than 10 satellites for Hughes, a subsidiary of General Motors Corp.

Rocket System was established in 1990 to supply satellite-launching services with H-2A rockets developed by Japan's National Space Development Agency.

Japan has used the rocket to successfully launch three satellites since 1994. It is capable of lifting a two-ton satellite into a stationary orbit.

Kyodo said one launch costs an estimated 8 billion yen ($73 million).

Rocket System is owned by 74 Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp., NEC Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Inc.