IHI Aerospace Receives First Commercial Launch Order for 2 iQPS Commercial Earth Observation Satellites on Epsilon

Epsilon launch (Credit: JAXA webcast)

TOKYO (IHI Aerospace PR) — IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd (hereinafter ‘IA’) received order for launching the small SAR satellites owned by Institute for Q-Shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (hereinafter ‘iQPS’). IA and iQPS signed the contract for launch service of QPS-SAR-3 and QPS-SAR-4 on April 18, 2022.

QPS-SAR-3 and QPS-SAR-4 are under manufacturing by iQPS with more than 25 partner companies in northern Kyushu and other parts of Japan. Two satellites will be launched by Epsilon flight #6 in Japanese FY 2022 from Uchinoura Space Center in Kyushu. This is first commercial launch order for IA.

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Epsilon Launches 9 Japanese Technology Demonstration Satellites

Epsilon launch (Credit: JAXA webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched nine technology demonstration satellites on Tuesday, Nov. 9, aboard an Epsilon booster from the Uchinoura Space Center.

The payloads include a small satellite named RApid Innovative payload demonstration SatellitE-2 (RAISE-2), four microsatellites and four CubeSats that will demonstrate 14 technologies. The flight was done under JAXA’s Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program.

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JAXA Tests Pulse Detonation Engine in Suborbital Flight

S-520-31 lifts off with pulse detonation engine aboard. (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA said that on Tuesday it tested a pulse detonation engine that uses shock waves powered by methane and other gases to create thrust. The Japanese space agency believes the project could produce smaller but powerful engines for use on deep-space exploration missions.

The engine was launched aboard on the S-520-31 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center. The Japan Times reported JAXA recovered a capsule with test data from the ocean.

Rocket Model/No.Launch Time
(JST)
Launch Vertical AngleMaximum Altitude ReachedLanding Time
S-520-3105:3080.0 degrees235 km/146 miles
(244 seconds after launch)
476 seconds after launch
Source: JAXA

“This experiment is the world’s first flight demonstration of rocket engine technology that safely and efficiently converts shock waves (explosive waves) generated when a mixed gas of fuel and oxygen reacts explosively into thrust,” JAXA said in a press release. “Technology of the detonation engine system (DES) combines a pulse detonation engine (PDE) that intermittently generates shock waves and a rotary detonation engine (RDE) that continuously rotates shock waves in a donut-shaped space.”

The Japan Times reported that JAXA is working the Nagoya University professor Jiro Kasahara to develop an engine that would be about one-tenth the size of ones currently used on deep space spacecraft. The engine, which could be ready for use in about five years, would be able to operate for extended periods of time.

Japan to Test Pulse Detonation Rocket Engine

S-520 sounding rocket (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA plans to test a pulse detonation engine next month that uses shock waves to create thrust. The Japanese space agency believes the system could be used for deep-space exploration.

“This experiment is the world’s first flight demonstration of rocket engine technology that safely and efficiently converts shock waves (explosive waves) generated when a mixed gas of fuel and oxygen reacts explosively into thrust,” JAXA said. “Technology of the detonation engine system (DES) combines a pulse detonation engine (PDE) that intermittently generates shock waves and a rotary detonation engine (RDE) that continuously rotates shock waves in a donut-shaped space.”

The experiment will be launched aboard the S-520-31 sounding rocket from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The launch is set for July 20 from 5:30 to 6:00 JST. The launch window extends from July 20 until Aug. 31.

“In addition, for the purpose of acquiring large-capacity experimental data, we will also conduct an experiment in which the separation capsule is slowly lowered offshore and recovered by helicopter,” JAXA said.