First Japanese rocket with commercial payload launched

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — The first Japanese rocket with a commercial payload is heading into space.

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket was launched Monday from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launch pad on the island of Tanegashima, off Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu.

It is carrying a broadcast and telecommunications satellite for Canadian company Telesat.

The launch was delayed for about 30 minutes because a boat entered a restricted zone. The rocket took off at 3:50 p.m.