Space Transportation Systems H3 Launch Vehicle

Under Development

Project Topics

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Aug. 8, 2017 Updated

LE-9 Turbopumps Unit tests

LE-9 Turbopumps Unit tests

Unit tests of the turbopumps, components of the LE-9 engine, are underway at the JAXA Kakuda Space Center. The oxygen and fuel turbopumps are LE-9's essential parts, responsible for supplying liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuel to the engine's main combustion chamber. The liquid hydrogen turbopump delivers 750 liters, or four drum containers of cryogenic liquid hydrogen per second into the LE-9's combustion chamber. The turbopumps mounted on the replicated LE-9 engine undergo a series of t...

About H3 Launch Vehicle

Japan to Lead in Space Transportation Technology

The H3 Launch Vehicle is Japan’s new flagship rocket aiming at achieving high flexibility, high reliability, and high cost performance. Its maiden flight is set for JFY 2020. H3 will offer several lineups by selection of two types of fairings, two or three first-stage engines (LE-9), and zero, two or four solid rocket boosters (SRB-3) to deal with various payload sizes and orbits. Its launch capability to the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) will be the highest ever, exceeding that of the existing H-IIA and H-IIB Launch Vehicles.
H3 is under development to be a successor to H-IIA and H-IIB so that Japan can maintain its autonomous access to space to launch satellites and probes including important missions for the government. We are eager to launch commercial satellites every year as well.
JAXA and its prime contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), and other related companies are all hands on deck from the development phase to leverage their experiences to renovate the whole system for producing a low cost, flexible and reliable rocket.

Characteristics of H3 Launch Vehicle

1. Goal to be easy-to-use launch vehicle

Based on our investigation and prediction of what kind of launch needs will arise in 2020 and beyond, the H3 Launch Vehicle aims at achieving three factors namely, high flexibility, high reliability, and high cost performance.

High flexibility

We will offer an appropriate launch price and capability for each user’s needs by preparing various launch vehicle configurations. We can also respond promptly to customers’ requests for launching their payloads by reducing the launch preparation period.

High reliability

By inheriting the high launch success rate of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, H3 will also offer a reliable launch.

High cost performance

The launch service price will be lower compared to that of H-IIA

2. Most powerful launch with various launch configurations

We offer a selection of two types of fairings, two or three units for the first-stage engines (LE-9) and zero, two or four solid rocket boosters (SRB-3) to cope with various payload sizes and their orbits. We also set a high launch capability to the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) that exceeds the capabilities of H-IIA and H-IIB.



Major characteristics of Standard H3 (H3-24L)

Length: 63 meters
Total mass: 574 tons (without payloads)
Guidance system: Inertial guidance system

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