JAXA Begins Tests of H-III Engines

H-III launch vehicle variants (Credit: JAXA)

The Nikkei Asian Review reports JAXA began test firings of the LE-9 rocket engine, which will power its new H-III launch vehicle. The first round of testing will include 11 firings through June.

The new booster is set to replace the H-IIA and H-IIB launchers, which are the mainstay of Japan’s orbital rocket fleet. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI are leading the development of the new two-stage launch vehicle.

H-III is designed to launch payloads at lower costs. The basic configuration can carry 4 metric tons into sun synchronous orbit.  By adding two to four strap-on boosters to the first stage, H-III will be able to lift up to 6.5 metric tons into geostationary transfer orbit.

The new booster will have a base cost of about 5 billion yen ($43.9 million). The H-IIA costs an estimated 10 billion yen ($87.8), with the more powerful H-IIB costing 10 billion yen ($131.5 million).

JAXA’s goal is for the H-III to complete flight tests and enter service in March 2021.

Orbital Launch Statistics for 2016

The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)
The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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There were 85 orbital launches in 2016, not including the Falcon 9 that exploded on launch pad prior to a pre-flight engine test. The launches break down as follow:

  • United States: 22 (22-0)
  • China: 22 (20-1-1)
  • Russia: 19 (18-1)
  • Europe: 9 (9-0)
  • India: 7 (7-0)
  • Japan: 4 (4-0)
  • Israel: 1 (1-0)
  • North Korea: 1 (1-0)

For a more detailed description of these launches, please read US, China Led World in Launches in 2016.

Let’s look at launches by booster and spaceport and the flights that were required for human spaceflight.
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USA, China Led World in Launches in 2016

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)

Part 1 of 2

The United States and China led the world in orbital launch attempts in 2016 with 22 apiece. The combined 44 launches made up more than half of the 85 flights conducted around the world.

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Japan Launches Cargo Ship to Space Station

Credit: JAXA
Credit: JAXA

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 (H-IIB F6) with cargo transporter to the International Space Station, the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) on board at 10:26:47 p.m. on December 9, 2016 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.

The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at approximately 15 minutes and 11 seconds after liftoff, the separation of HTV6 was confirmed.

At the time of the launch,the weather was fine, the wind speed was 4.3 meters/second, from the north-west, and the temperature was 15.5 degrees Celsius.

Reference:
H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 Flight Sequence (Quick Estimation)
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2016/12/20161210_h2bf6.html#at

URL:
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2016/12/20161210_h2bf6.html

 

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JAXA Privatizes H-IIB Launch Services

H-IIB rocket (Credit: Narita Masahiro)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — As a result of the successful launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries LTD. (MHI) have agreed to privatize the H-IIB launch service today according to the “Basic Agreement on Development and Launch Service of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle.”

With today’s agreement, JAXA will procure launch and transportation services from MHI when a payload is launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle. However, JAXA will continue to take responsibility of safety operations including overall safety confirmation, ground safety assurance, and flight safety and flight data acquisition in the same framework as when an H-IIA Launch Vehicle is launched.

Through the privatization, we can expect to secure Japan’s international competitiveness both for the H-IIA and H-IIB by reducing costs, improving quality and energizing activities via efficient and swift management methods of the private sector. Meanwhile, JAXA would like to engage in enhancing reliability as well as maintaining and operating Japan’s launch facilities for Japan’s flagship launch vehicle series in order to provide reliable launch means to broader demands.

Schedule for H-IIB Launch Next Week

JAXA MISSION UPDATE

KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB F2 live launch broadcast starts at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 20!

JAXA will broadcast a live launch report of the KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.2 from 2:30 p.m. on January 20 (Thur.) You can watch the live report at public viewing sites including JAXA offices and science museums as well as through cable TV and some websites. Why don’t you watch the live launch with us?

Broadcast Schedule

  1. KOUNOTORI2(HTV2)/H-IIB No.2 Launch:
    from 2:30 p.m. on January 20 (Thu, JST) (for one and a half hours)
  2. Final Approach to the ISS, Capture by the SSRMS:
    from 7:50 p.m. on January 27 (Thu, JST) (for one hour)
  3. HTV docking with the ISS:
    from 10:30 p.m. on January 27 (Thu, JST) (for one hour)

The rocket will send the second HTV (named “KOUNOTORI” or “white stork”) aloft with supplies for the International Space Station.

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JAXA Completes H-IIB Cryo Test, HTV 2 Set to Go for ISS Flight

JAXA MISSION UPDATE
Dec. 16, 2010

On December 16, JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. conducted a cryogenic test of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) at the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle and the ground system were connected for the test and all the launch operation procedures just prior to ignition were simulated in the same manner as on the launch day. As a result, no problem was found in functions and data of the launch vehicle and the ground system. We will thus move forward to be ready for launch.

The launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle 2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard was reported to the Space Activities Commission (SAC) is as follows.

Scheduled date of launch: January 20 (Thursday), 2011 (Japan Standard Time, JST)
Launch time: Around 3:29 p.m. (JST)*1
Launch windows: January 21 (Fri.) through February 28 (Mon.), 2011 (JST)*2
Launch Site: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center

(*1) Time will be determined by the updated orbit of the International Space Station (ISS.)
(*2) The launch day and time during the launch windows shall be decided by the international coordination for ISS operations.

Japan to Stream HTV Launch on Friday, Sept. 11

htvcutaway

JAXA MISSION UPDATE

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight and the H-IIB Launch Vehicle are undergoing final launch preparations at the Vehicle Assembly Building waiting for their launch on Sept. 11 (Fri.) JAXA will broadcast a live launch report through the Internet from 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 11th (Japan Standard Time)  [12:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Sept. 10]. You can enjoy the dynamism of the launch at the Tanegashima Space Center from your home. We welcome your supportive messages to the HTV and H-IIB project teams who are working hard to be ready for the launch.

You can see the launch on the JAXA website.

The date and time of the live launch broadcast are subject to change due to the orbit of the International Space Station, launch preparation status, weather conditions and other factors.

H-IIB Launch to Inaugurate New Era in Japanese Rocket Effort

hiib

Japan: Fly Me to the Moon
Forbes

Japan’s $155 million launch, scheduled for the southern Tanegashima spaceport in the wee hours of September 11, is intended to showcase the new rocket that JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries spent the last five years building. It’s also likely to inject a new dimension into Asia’s ongoing rocket race, the latest salvo of which was South Korea’s planned satellite launch this week. Seoul’s hopes were first decried by Pyongyang, which saw its own recent rocket launch meet with U.N. sanctions. But technical glitches scrubbed the South Korean launch.

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JAXA Completes Ground Test for H-IIB Launcher

JAXA MISSION UPDATE

The comprehensive ground test for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle using the Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) was held at the Tanegashima Space Center on July 11.

Although the GTV was not equipped with the fairing, the flight engine and four Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB-As) were attached. During the test, the exact same procedures as the real launch procedures were followed up until the engine ignition for the final confirmation of the vehicle, ground facilities and operation procedures.

The first launch of the H-IIB is set for September 11. It will carry the HTV cargo vehicle with fresh supplies to the International Space Station.

H-II to Carry Cargo Vehicle to ISS in September

JAXA PRESS RELEASE

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. would like to announce that the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard was approved by the Space Activities Commission (SAC) as follows.

Scheduled Date of Launch: September 11 (Friday,) 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST)

Launch Time: Around 2:04 a.m. (JST)

Launch Windows: September 12 (Sat) through 30 (Wed,) 2009 (JST)

Launch Site: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center



JAXA: Second H-IIB Engine Test Goes Smoothly

JAXA PRESS RELEASE

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. performed the second captive firing test (CFT) for the first stage flight model tank of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle on April 22, 2009 (Japan Standard Time) at the Tanegashima Space Center. The test went smoothly as follows.

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JAXA H-IIB First Stage Firing Successful

JAXA PRESS RELEASE

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. performed the first captive firing test (CFT) for the first stage flight model tank of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle on April 2, 2009 (Japan Standard Time) at the Tanegashima Space Center. The test went smoothly as follows.

Purpose:

  • To verify the safety of firing two engines simultaneously.
  • To confirm the interface between the launch vehicle and the ground facility.
  • To confirm the countdown sequence up to liftoff.

Firing Duration: 10 seconds

 

JAXA Reschedules H-IIB Test Firing for April 1 (No Fooling)

JAXA PRESS RELEASE

The First Captive Firing Test for the First Stage Flight Model Tank for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. postponed the first captive firing test (CFT) on March 27, 2009 (all times and dates are Japan Standard Time) at the Tanegashima Space Center due to an abnormal phenomenon in the coolant supply. Abnormal phenomenon: Coolant, which is supposed to pour and sprinkle for protecting the facilities and surrounding area when the launch vehicle engine is fired, did not pour and sprinkle.

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