Image credit & copyright: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Launch Alert: Friday, December 22, 2017 at 20:26 EDT (01:26 UTC on the 23rd), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will be launching the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA (H-2A) rocket; Launch Vehicle No. 37 (F37) flying in its 202 configuration (H-IIA 202). It will be carrying the GCOM-C and SLATS science satellites from Launch Area-Y1 (Also known as Area-Y1 or LA-Y1) at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), Japan.

Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC): Tanegashima Space Center is located on the island of Tanegashima; the easternmost island of the Osumi Islands of 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. H-IIA rockets launch from Pad-1 while H-IIB rockets launch from Pad-2.

JAXA’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA (H2A) rocket is a two (2) stage, medium lift, expendable rocket that stands 53m (173.8 ft.) tall and comes in two configurations; the 202 and 204. 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 about 2.5 tons to Earth Escape Velocity.

Configuration Numbers Explained:

2 = number of stages (this number doesn’t change)

0 = number of liquid rocket boosters (LRB’s) (this number doesn’t change)

2 = number of solid fueled boosters (SRB’s) (this can be 2 or 4)

Payload Fairing (4S): is a two-shell composite enclosure, 12 m (39 ft.) long with a diameter of 4 m (13.1 ft.). The fairings are used to protect the spacecraft during ascent through atmospheric turbulence and into space. Once the rocket has reached a safe altitude the fairings are jettisoned, exposing the spacecraft(s).

Second Stage: is 9.2 m (30.2 ft.) tall, 4 m (13.1 ft.) in diameter and is powered by a single LE-5B engine that burns liquid hydrogen (LH2) as fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer to produce a 137 nK (31,000 lb.) thrust at sea level with a specific impulse of 447 seconds at sea level and a burn time of 534 seconds. The second stage can be re-ignited up to three times.

Strap-on Boosters (SRB-A’s): are each 15.1 m (49.5 ft.) tall and 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) diameter, solid fueled boosters utilizing polybutadiene (HTPB) for propellant to produce a thrust of 2,260 kN, a specific impulse of 280 seconds and burn for about 100 seconds.

First Stage: is 37.2 m (122 ft.) tall, 4 m (13.1 ft.) in diameter and is powered by a single LE-7A engine that burns liquid hydrogen (LH2) as fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer to produce a 1,098 nK (247,000 lb.) thrust at sea level with a specific impulse of 440 seconds at sea level and a burn time of 390 seconds.

Stream Live:

JAXA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jaxachannel

GCOM-C & SLATS (F37) Mission:

JAXA page for this mission: http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/gcom_c/index.html

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries page for this launch: https://www.mhi.com/notice/notice_171027.html

General 2017 Launch List (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_in_spaceflight

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA):

JAXA main site: http://global.jaxa.jp/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaxa_en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaxaJapanAerospaceExplorationAgency

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/explore/jaxa

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jaxachannel

U Stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jaxa-live

JAXA Digital Archives: http://jda.jaxa.jp/en/

Necovideo Visual Solutions (NVS):

Website: http://nvs-live.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/nvslivecom

NVS Twitter: https://twitter.com/nvslive?lang=en

NVS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nvslive/

JAXA H-IIA Rocket:

JAXA H-IIA Launch Vehicle: http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2a/

H-IIA launches (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-IIA


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

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