Featured Image: JAXA/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)
January 25, 2023
(What rocket company is launching it?)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
(Who’s paying for this?)
Cabinet Satellite Information Center (CSICE)
LA-Y1, Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
Unknown, but probably no more than ~4,000 kg (~9000 pounds)
Where is the satellite going?
Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?
No, this is not a capability of the H-IIA
Where will the first stage land?
It will crash into the ocean
Will they be attempting to recover the fairings?
No, this is not a capability of the H-IIA
Are these fairings new?
How’s the weather looking?
This will be the:
– 14th orbital launch attempt of 2023
– 46th H-IIA mission
– 1st H-IIA mission of 2023
Where to watch
If available, an official livestream will be listed here
What’s All This Mean?
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is launching a Japanese reconnaissance satellite to Sun-Synchronous Orbit for the Cabinet Satellite Information Center (CSICE). The satellite will launch atop a H-IIA 202 rocket, taking off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. This mission marks the first launch of a H-IIA 202 rocket since December 2021.
The IGS (Intelligence Gathering Satellite) Radar 7 is a Japanese radar reconnaissance satellite which will be operated by the Cabinet Satellite Information Center (CSICE), which is a part of the Japanese intelligence agency, the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office.
Not much is known about this specific satellite, however CSICE has stated that the IGS series of satellites is used for gathering information necessary to national security, as well as crisis management.
What Is The H-IIA 202?
H-IIA is a two-stage liquid-fuel medium-lift launch vehicle operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for JAXA. It is about 53 m (174 ft) in height and 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and is capable of placing a 4,000 kg payload into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). Its maiden flight took place on August 29, 2001. Since then, it has launched 43 times, with just one failure that occurred on November 29, 2003. The H-IIA rocket has several variants, with only H-IIA 202 and H-IIA 204 currently being active.
H-IIA rockets have a three to four number configuration code following the prefix “H2A”. The first number represents the number of stages. The second number denotes the number of liquid rocket boosters (LRBs). Finally, the third number shows the number of solid rocket boosters (SRBs). For this launch, the H-IIA 202 rocket will have two stages, no LRBs, and two SRBs.
First StageSolid Rocket BoosterSecond StageEngineLE-7A SRB-ALE-5BPropellantLH2/LOxHTPB CompositeLH2/LOxPropellant Mass, kg100,00065,000 each16,600Thrust, kN (lbf),
vacuum1,098 (246,840)2,520 (566,519) each137 (30,799)Specific Impulse (ISP), s,
vacuum440283448Burning Time, s390100–
All stages of H-IIA rocket are expandable. Its first stage is powered by a LE-7A engine and is capable of producing 1,098 kN of thrust, with an ISP of 440 s. The propulsion system runs on liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOx). Apart from the engine section, this stage consists of fuel tanks, a center section connecting them, and an interstage.
A pair of SRB-As on the H-IIA 202 rocket fire for approximately 100 s from liftoff. Each one of them is capable of producing 2,520 kN of thrust, with an ISP of 283 s, which augments total thrust of the rocket.
A second stage is powered by an LE-5B engine that also runs on LH2 and LOx and can be ignited up to three times. This stage is capable of producing 137 kN of thrust, with an ISP of 448 s. The avionics system can be found on the equipment panel of this stage. The hydrazine-jet reaction control system is mounted under the avionics equipment panel and is used for attitude control.
In addition, a long-coast variation of this stage is available for geostationary orbit missions. It features several modifications that allow enhancing the mission time and suppressing the propellant loss during long-coast.
Three types of payload fairings (4S, 5S, and 4/4D-LC) are available for H-IIA rockets. The first two of them can be used for a dedicated launch, whereas the 4/4D-LC model can be used for a dual launch.
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