H3 Launch Vehicle Topics

Topics List

Nov. 22, 2017 Updated
LE-9 Engine Assembled for Testing Shown to the Media

On November 14, 2017, JAXA invited to the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) the member of the media to see the LE-9 engine assembled for tests. The rain at the site hardly detracted many from around the country to look at the LE-9 model installed in the TNSC firing test chamber.
LE-9 is the liquid rocket engine designed to propel the first stage of H3 Launch Vehicle now under development. From April to July, a series of engine firing testing was conducted on the first LE-9 test engine (Test model#1) primarily to confirm the sequence of activate/deactivate commands and to gain performance data. The second LE-9 test engine (Test model#2) was made public to the press. After the data from the test series is being reviewed and objectives met, the next series of tests on Test model#2 will get readied to start.


LE-9 Engine Assembled for Testing Shown to the Media

Oct. 12, 2017 Updated
H3 Scaled Acoustic Reduction Experiments

During launch, a rocket makes huge noise equivalent to hundred large passenger jet engines. The acoustic energy can cause damage to its payload as well as the rocket itself. To minimize it, H3 that JAXA is now developing seeks to achieve the world’s quietest launch. As part of the noise reduction program, HARE (H3 Scaled Acoustic Reduction Experiment) was carried out from April to July, at the JAXA Noshiro Rocket Test Center, Akita. The water system is designed to protect the Shuttle and its payloads from any damage that may occur from acoustical energy reflected from the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) during launch.
The countermeasures have mainly evolved around simple noise testing and numerical noise analysis. Based on these, installment of the devises has been made at the ground facility including water suppression system and sound absorbing walls. The acoustic tests on a 1:24 scale model of H3 and launch system provided critical data about how the powerful noise generated by the engines and boosters. The data also elucidated the transient pressure rate at the ignition of the solid motor. Analysis of the data will give JAXA deeper understanding of the mechanism of noise generation during liftoff. Application of the HARE data, along with other acoustic data collected at H-IIA and B launches will be used for the design and development of H3 and the ground facility.



H3 Scaled Acoustic Reduction Experiments

Aug. 8, 2017 Updated
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 testing to ensure their function and performance. At the Kakuda Center, there is a burn pond for disposal of hydrogen gas boil-off. Boiling off unused liquid hydrogen to dissipate produces a towering blaze that can reach fifty meters. Images of LE-9 development is available in the video below with excerpts from the unit testing.

LE-9 Turbopumps Unit tests

Jun. 30, 2017 Updated
Updates on Development of LE-5B-3 Engine – Firing Test Begins

JAXA tested LE-5B-3, the liquid rocket engine designed to propel the second stage of H3 Launch Vehicle now under development. LE-5B-3 enhances the LE-5B-2 engine that likewise boosts the second stage of H-IIA and H-IIB. LE-5B-2 has earned the time-tested record of reliability after scores of successful H-II launches. Improvements are being made to lower the cost of LE-5B-3, without compensating the dynamics to blast off H3, a larger rocket and to sustain its flight.

Following the design improvements for affordability and performance which reached the desired level in August 2016, JAXA successfully conducted the test of the liquid hydrogen turbopump in December 2016 through January 2017. The liquid hydrogen turbopump -- equivalent of the heart of a human body -- draws in the propellants into the engine thrust chamber.

Since March 2017, the first engine with the hydrogen turbopump, assembled for certification was completed, kicking off its preliminary firing testing. The test is proceeding on schedule. By September 2017, test results will expectedly prove the soundness of the basic design improvements.

Updates on Development of LE-5B-3 Engine – Firing Test Begins

Jun. 15, 2017 Updated
JAXA Gives SRB-3 Development a Boost

SRB-3 is an auxiliary rocket, also now under development as solid rocket booster to be attached to the base of the H3 rocket. Strap-on solid rocket boosters derived from SRB-3 reinforce H3’s launch capabilities. Varied configuration – zero, two or four booster(s), depending on the desired thrust – gives the launch vehicle a higher degree of flexibility, one of its strengths. JAXA pursuits cost reduction by use of the technology that produced SRB-A, H-II rocket’s first stage engine, and simplification of the attachment methods. The SRB-3 rocket motor, almost the same size as SRB-A’s, is also configured for the first stage of the Epsilon launch vehicle.

Based on the design review, since April 2017, JAXA has started testing motor strength using the full-scale motor case. SRB-3 is subject to a series of tests, including ground firing and separation.

JAXA Gives SRB-3 Development a Boost

Apr. 28, 2017 Updated
H3 Makes Debut in Computer Graphics

Computerized images of JAXA's H3 rocket, to be launched in Japanese fiscal 2020, have been available to the public.
The minute-long animation begins with the image of H3, now under development, punching through clouds up towards the space.
With the development in full swing, JAXA appreciates support by all - we certainly draw strength from it to make the total process successful.

H3 Makes Debut in Computer Graphics

Mar. 31, 2017 Updated
LE-9 Engine Assembled, Shipped for Testing

On March 31, in Tanegashima Space Center, LE-9 engine for the new H3 type of launch vehicles was installed on the facility’s firing test stand used for liquid fuel boosters. The test schedule will be available on the website as soon as determined.

LE-9 Engine Assembled, Shipped for Testing

Jul. 7, 2016 Updated
Logo mark for development of H3 Launch Vehicle created

JAXA created a logo for the development of the H3 Launch Vehicle to unify engineers' minds with a single goal.
The logo is composed of geometric lines to simply express “a powerful flight to space by H3, which supports Japan’s space development.” Orange is the H3's image color, and white on both sides indicates an image of smoke and plume from the solid rocket boosters.

Logo mark for development of H3 Launch Vehicle created

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