JAXA’s Next H3 Rocket to Carry 2 Microsatellites

Courtesy of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry
A model of the TIRSAT microsatellite

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to send two microsatellites into orbit with the second launch of its H3 rocket following the failure of the first H3 rocket shortly after its launch in March.

JAXA presented the plan at a meeting of experts organized by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Tuesday.

A dummy satellite will be carried as the main payload for the second launch of the H3 rocket, but the two microsatellites will also be aboard.

One of the satellites, dubbed CE-SAT-1E, is equipped with a sensor capable of taking pictures in visible light like a regular camera. The microsatellite weighs about 50 kilograms and was developed by Canon Electronics Inc.

This satellite is expected to partially fulfill the function of emergency observation following natural disasters that was initially planned to be performed by the Daichi-3 land observation satellite, which was lost when the first H3 rocket failed.

The other satellite, dubbed TIRSAT, was developed by Japan Space Systems and other institutes. It will be equipped with a sensor to detect infrared rays and will be able to observe the temperature of the Earth’s surface and seawater.

The schedule of the second launch will be determined based on the progress of the investigation into the cause of the failure of the first launch.

The first H3 rocket was destroyed on command because its second-stage engine failed to ignite. The rocket fell into the ocean along with its payload, the Daichi-3 satellite.