Image Credit & Copyright: JAXA of H-IIA F21 (image P100006742). See below for launch, mission and rocket information to include many links.
Saturday, November 29 at 23:24 EST (04:24 UTC on the 30th) the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will be launching the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA (H-2A) rocket; Launch Vehicle No. 26 (F26) flying in its 202 configuration (H-IIA 202). It will be carrying the Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample return mission, from Launch Area-Y1 (Also known as Area-Y1 or LA-Y1) at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), Japan.
There are 2 active launch pads at Tanegashima; Launch Pad-1 (LP-1) and Launch Pad-2 (LP-2). They are in an area known as the Yoshinobu Launch Complex and designated as Launch Area-Y, Area-Y or LA-Y. They differentiate between pads by placing a (1) or a (2) after the designation, for example if you see basic launch data above you will see the ALOS-2 will be launching from Pad-1. H-IIA rockets launch from Pad-1 while H-IIB rockets launch from Pad-2.
Hayabusa 2 is the successor to the original Hayabusa mission; an Ion powered spacecraft that on November 19 & 25, 2005 landed on asteroid Itokawa, collected trace samples and returned them to Earth on June 13, 2010.
The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft; basically an upgraded Hayabusa 1 spacecraft will reach asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3 in mid-2018, stay for about a year and a half, then depart in late 2019 and return samples back to Earth by the end of 2020. It gets more interesting than that and it involves explosives, beacons, hiding on the opposite side of the asteroid, landing in the exploded crater, collecting samples and returning home. It’s a very ambitious and technical mission and as we progress I will detail the mission much more.
JAXA’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA (H2A) rocket is a two (2) stage expendable rocket and is the medium lift vehicle in the H-II Rocket Family along with the H-II and the H-IIB and it stands 53m (173.8 ft.) tall.
The H-IIA has a lift capacity of 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), 4 tons to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), 4 tons to Sun Synchronous Orbit and only about 2.5 tons to Earth Escape Velocity.
PAYLOAD FAIRING (4S) = for the H-IIA rocket is 12m (39 ft.) in height and has a diameter of 4 m (13.1 ft.) and is jettisoned after liftoff once it reaches a safe altitude where turbulence from the air won’t be a problem.
SECOND STAGE = is liquid fueled utilizing hydrogen & oxygen (LOX/LH2) to power its single LE-5B engine and it burns for 530 seconds. It is 9.2 m (30.2 ft.) tall and 4m (13.1 ft.) in diameter. The second stage can be re-ignited up to three times.
STRAP ON BOOSTERS (SRB-A’s) = are solid fuel boosters utilizing polybutadiene for propellant and they burn for about 100 seconds. They are 15.1 m (49.5 ft.) tall and 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) in diameter.
FIRST STAGE = is liquid fueled utilizing liquid oxygen & hydrogen (LOX/LH2) to propel a single LE-7A engine that burn for about 390 seconds. It is 37.2 m (122 ft.) tall and 4 m (13.1 ft.) in diameter.
WATCH LAUNCH LIVE:
U Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jaxa-live
MISSION, ROCKET & SPACEPORT:
JAXA Hayabusa 2: http://www.jspec.jaxa.jp/e/activity/hayabusa2.html
Mitsubishi H-IIA Rocket: http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2a/
Mitsubishi H-II Rocket: http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2/index.html
Mitsubishi H-IIA Rocket pdf: http://global.jaxa.jp/activity/pr/brochure/files/rocket01.pdf
JAXA Digital Image Archives: http://jda.jaxa.jp/en/
JAXA Digital Image Archives (Rockets): http://jda.jaxa.jp/category_p.php?lang=e&page=&category1=1&category2=&page_pics=50
Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), Japan: http://global.jaxa.jp/about/centers/tnsc/index.html
Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), Japan PDF: http://global.jaxa.jp/activity/pr/brochure/files/centers02_e.pdf?bcsi_scan_df193da5ba4c5bc6=0&bcsi_scan_filename=centers02_e.pdf