Japan's uprated H2A booster has been booked for ten flights by Space Systems Loral, giving the launcher a total of 20 firm commercial-launch bookings, an unprecedented number for a new launch vehicle.

The latest Loral order, which covers launches scheduled to take place from 2000, follows the booking of ten flights by Hughes Space and Communications (Flight International, 4-10 December).

The H2A, which is marketed by Mitsubishi-led Rocket Systems, will replicate the H2l's 2,000kg-to-geostationary-orbit capability, but will be cheaper to build.

The H2 has been flown four times since 1994, but has been unsuccessful in gaining commercial contracts because of its high production costs.

Source: Flight International