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H2A成功 宇宙産業の地歩を築く一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 20, 2012)
Japan's space industry shoud build on H-2A rocket success
H2A成功 宇宙産業の地歩を築く一歩に(5月19日付・読売社説)

The 21st H-2A rocket was successfully launched Friday with four satellites aboard. One of them, from South Korea, was the first to be launched under a contract from overseas.
 初めて海外から受注した韓国の衛星など4基を載せたH2Aロケット21号機が、打ち上げに成功した。

All four satellites entered their planned orbits.
 いずれの衛星も予定軌道に乗った。

Everything went flawlessly and on schedule.
 すべてスケジュール通りで、極めて順調だった。

One of the four, the Arirang-3 satellite developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute was the focus of special attention. The South Korean satellite is equipped with a high-resolution camera capable of photographing small objects on the ground.
 注目された衛星は、韓国航空宇宙研究院の「アリラン3号」だ。高解像度のカメラを搭載し、地上を精密撮影できる。

The successful liftoff marked Japan's entry into the commercial launch business for non-Japanese payloads, a goal people involved in the nation's space development programs have longed for. The success should be used to broaden opportunities for the nation's commercial satellite launch business.
 日本の宇宙関係者が悲願としてきた、海外衛星の打ち上げビジネスへの参入に一歩をしるした。成功を商機拡大につなげたい。

The success this time was the 15th consecutive successful launch of the H-2A rocket since the explosion of the sixth H-2A in 2003. The H-2A program's 95.2 percent success rate makes it comparable to the best in the world.
 H2Aの打ち上げも、2003年の6号機失敗後、15回続けての成功となった。成功率95・2%は世界のトップクラスだ。

===

More extensive record needed

The European Ariane rocket, a formidable rival for Japan in the space business competition, also has a success rate of about 95 percent--but it is based on a more extensive record of about 200 successful launches. The H-2A's corresponding figure of 21 launches leaves it far from truly catching up with the world's best.
 ただし、打ち上げ回数では、日本の強力なライバルである欧州のロケット「アリアン」が約200回に達している。成功率も約95%だ。21回のH2Aは、世界水準には、まだまだ遠い。

Under the circumstances, Japan's commercial launch business faces a thorny and arduous path.
 それだけに、日本の打ち上げビジネスの前途は険しい。

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., the H-2A rocket manufacturer, began to seek contracts to launch commercial satellites around 2007. The company has had more than 100 inquiries from potential clients, but only one, the South Korean entity, actually signed on.
 H2Aを製造している三菱重工業は、07年ごろから打ち上げ契約獲得を目指してきた。打診は100件を超えるが、成約に至ったのは、今回の衛星以外にない。

Further business efforts are needed for such purposes as cutting back on launch costs.
 打ち上げ費用を低減する取り組みを強化するなど、さらなる営業努力が必要だろう。

Explaining its choice of the H-2A rocket, South Korea cited the "inexpensiveness" of the latest launch.
 韓国側は、打ち上げにH2Aを選択した理由として、費用の「安さ」を挙げている。

An H-2A launch usually costs about 10 billion yen. But the launch fee was reportedly reduced considerably due to the fact that the South Korean satellite blasted off together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Shizuku, an observation satellite designed to scrutinize Earth's water environment.
 H2Aの打ち上げには、通常100億円前後かかるが、韓国の衛星は、地球の水環境を詳細に観測する日本の宇宙航空研究開発機構の衛星「しずく」と相乗りのため料金が軽減されたという。

Further cuts in the production costs for the rocket are also essential.
 ロケット製造コストの一層の削減も必要だ。

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has set the goal of halving costs through steps such as reviewing its procurement methods.
三菱重工業も部品調達の見直しなどで、将来の費用半減を目標に掲げている。

===

Launch new rocket R&D

The government must actively support the engagement of domestic industry in the rocket launching business.
 政府も、産業界の取り組みを積極的に後押しすべきだろう。

By launching a variety of government satellites, including ones for Earth observation and telecommunications, one after another with H-2A rockets, the government could help enhance its appeal to potential clients.
 地球観測や通信など様々な政府の衛星を、今後もH2Aで切れ目なく打ち上げることで、実績作りにも貢献する必要がある。

We believe now is the time to start studies in earnest about the development of a next-generation Japanese rocket to succeed the H-2A.
 H2Aの次の国産ロケット開発についても、本格的に検討を始めるべきではないか。

Without a new research and development project, this country will eventually lose excellent rocket technicians. In fact, the technicians who were involved in the development of the H-2A project have already begun to retire.
新規の研究開発がなければ、優秀な技術者はいなくなる。H2Aに携わった技術陣はすでに引退し始めた。

In the United States, where rocket business start-ups have been set up at the initiative of private companies, launch costs are said to be about half those of the H-2A.
 米国では、民間企業主導で、打ち上げ費用がH2Aの半額程度という安価なロケットも登場している。

Although they have made few commercial launches so far, the U.S. space business start-ups are likely to become strong new rivals for Japan's satellite launch business.
実績はまだ少ないが、新たなライバルになろう。

Given the situation, it is imperative for this country to bolster cooperation among the government, industry and academia to maintain and strengthen domestic rocket technology.
 国産ロケット技術の維持、強化へ産官学の協力が重要だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 19, 2012)
(2012年5月19日01時32分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-05-21 12:59 | 英字新聞

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