Space Transportation Systems H3 Launch Vehicle

Under Development

Project Topics

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

H3: To Space via Japan

This is the generation of space enterprise and innovation,
And with a new launch vehicle, we will unlock the skies―
Because nothing can go to space without one.

Through Japanese technology, reliability, and customizability,
Let us provide a launch vehicle through which
You can achieve your ambitious ventures.

In 2020, H3 will bring space ever-closer
And carry the world to space.

The H3 Launch Vehicle is a large-size next-generation launch vehicle whose maiden flight is scheduled in Japan Fiscal Year 2020 from the Tanegashima Space Center. H3 is under development to be a successor to the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, the current mainstay launch vehicle, in order to maintain Japan’s autonomous access to space.
Recently, many satellites that are closely related to our lives have been transported to space, thus utilizing space has become part of our daily lives. Under such a progressive society, H3 is aiming to become a launch vehicle that attracts people’s attention not only in Japan but also globally as an easy-to-use space transportation system.
For H3 to succeed, JAXA will modernize the overall launch vehicle based on our experience cultivated through the development and operation of H-IIA. In that sense, we face technological challenges including the development of a new large liquid engine (LE-9) and solid rocket boosters (SRB-3). Technologies developed for H3 will be applied to the Epsilon Launch Vehicle.
JAXA and related companies will make active use of Japanese technologies in various fields to develop the new launch vehicle.

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