• Science

JAXA Unveils Portion of 2nd H3 Rocket Set to Launch Feb. 15; Success of Launch Dependent on Functionality of New Equipment

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The payload fairing, which will be used during the second H3 launch, is shown to the press at Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Tuesday.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has unveiled a part of the fuselage of its second H3 mainstay rocket and a satellite it will carry ahead of its launch on Feb. 15 from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

JAXA showed the press the satellite’s payload fairing, which is a protective cover that will be attached to the tip of the rocket to protect the satellite during launch, on Jan 23. The success of the launch will depend on whether the fairing, measuring 10.4 meters high and 5.2 meters in diameter, functions properly.

The first H3 rocket’s launch ended in failure in March last year. The rocket was deliberately destroyed in-flight with the government’s land observation satellite Daichi-3 aboard. The second H3 will carry a mock satellite, which weighs the same as the Daichi-3, in its payload fairing.

JAXA also unveiled two other satellites.

The CE-SAT-1E weighs about 70 kilograms and was developed by Canon Electronics Inc. The microsatellite combines a digital camera and telescope to take high-resolution images of objects on the ground and in space.

The TIRSAT weighs about 5 kilograms and was developed by Japan Space Systems and other entities. The TIRSAT nanosatellite is equipped with an infrared sensor to detect heat sources on the ground to determine the operation conditions of factories.

“We want to be precise when performing individual tasks to ensure a successful launch,” said Masashi Okada, JAXA project manager of the H3 rocket.