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Sep. 29, 2017 Updated
Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle with ASNARO-2 onboard

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to postpone the launch of the third Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-3) with the Advanced Small-size Radar Satellite (ASNARO-2) on Board to November 12, 2017, from the Uchinoura Space Center.
JAXA will take extra time to rectify the incompatibility found in the electrical system of the Epsilon-3 in the course of launch campaign at the launch site.

The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle with ASNARO-2 onboard

Sep. 12, 2017 Updated
T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

JAXA announces that the Epsilon 3 launch encapsulating the second Advance Satellite with New System Architecture for Observation (ASNARO-2) is scheduled on November 12, 2017. The launch window is 6 a.m. through 6:35 a.m., in Japan Standard time.
Epsilon launch is not new - the proceeding two were sent up to space. Epsilon 3 has had improved its mechanism for satellite separation. Preparation for the launch is underway.
On the day of the launch, there will be live feed from the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center. The details soon will begin to come out.

T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

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

Jul. 12, 2017 Updated
Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

JAXA is inviting all to write notes to cheer on the project members and the mission of Epsilon-3, to be launched this fiscal year.
The project members of the past series of Epsilon launches have drawn strength from the similar campaigns.
The notes sent to JAXA will be printed as part of the decal (sticker) attached to the body of the launch vehicle. JAXA appreciates the positive participation by many.

Application Deadline: 5 pm (JST), August 7, 2017
*The deadline has been changed.

Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

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

Feb. 6, 2017 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Jan. 28 and re-entered the atmosphere at around 0:06 a.m. on Feb. 6 (Japan Standard Time.)

KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

Jan. 25, 2017 Updated
Is there little metallic iron in the universe?

Solid particles containing iron (dust particles) act to promote the formation of molecules in interstellar space, and are key to understanding physical and chemical processes there.
Iron contained in dust particles comes in various forms such as metallic iron and iron oxide, each with different properties. Previous studies have suggested that iron is present mainly in forms other than iron oxide, iron carbide, and iron sulfide. To verify the possibility that metallic iron is present, a research team led by Dr. Kimura (Hokkaido University) performed in situ observations of gaseous iron cooling in a microgravity environment, and investigated the ease of iron aggregation (the efficiency at which metallic iron forms).
The experimental results showed that, unlike in the results of ground experiments, it was difficult for iron atoms to aggregate. In other words, it is difficult for metallic iron to form in outer space.
The team speculates that iron in dust particles is not a metal, but rather contained as a compound, or adhered to other particles as an impurity.
The results of this research were published in the online journal Science Advances of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on 21 January 2017.

Is there little metallic iron in the universe?

Jan. 15, 2017 Updated
SS-520 No. 4 Launch Results

At 8:33 a.m., (Japan Standard Time) January 15, 2017, SS-520 No. 4, JAXA's sounding rocket launched from the Uchinoura Space Center. Through SS-520 No. 4 launch, JAXA sought for research and development of launch vehicles and satellites and the launch demonstration of TRICOM-1, its onboard nanosat that weighs about 3 kilograms. The launch was part of Japanese government's program for development of launch vehicles and satellites in public-private partnerships.

The first stage flight of SS-520 No. 4 proceeded according to schedule. Thereafter, however, ground teams could not receive telemetry from the launch vehicle and the call was made to abort the second stage ignition.
JAXA tracked the launch vehicle and confirmed that it fell into the south eastern ocean off the Uchinoura Space Center, within the projected drop area.

SS-520 No. 4 Launch Results

Dec. 20, 2016 Updated
Success of Epsilon-2 Launch with ERG Aboard

JAXA successfully launched the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) aboard at 8:00 p.m. on December 20, 2016 (JST) from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at approximately 13 minutes and 27 seconds after liftoff, the separation of ERG was confirmed.

The signals were received in the Santiago Ground Station, the Republic of Chile at 8:37 p.m. (JST). ERG's solar array paddles have been deployed as planned. Also, ERG has completed the attitude control based on the sun acquisition.
JAXA has nicknamed ERG "ARASE".

Success of Epsilon-2 Launch with ERG Aboard

Dec. 19, 2016 Updated
Epsilon-2/ERG launch time decided! Live broadcast from 7:40 p.m. on December 20 (Tue.)

The launch time of the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) was set for 8:00:00 on December 20 (Tue.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Uchinoura Space Center from 7:40 p.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet. Please have a look!

Epsilon-2/ERG launch time decided! Live broadcast from 7:40 p.m. on December 20 (Tue.)

Dec. 13, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 berthed at ISS!

The cargo transporter to the International Space Station, KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) was captured with the robotic arm of the International Space Station (ISS) at 7:39 p.m. on December 13 (Japan Standard Time) and berthed to the ISS at 3:24 a.m. on December 14 (JST). The KOUNOTORI6 was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.6 on December 9.
Astronauts aboard the ISS will shortly unload the pressurized and unpressurized logistic carriers of HTV6 and will transfer the cargo into the ISS. The payload includes food, drinking water, the new Japanese-made lithium ion battery and 7 microsatellites.

KOUNOTORI6 berthed at ISS!

Dec. 10, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 Successfully Launched

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with cargo transporter to the International Space Station, the KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) aboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 22:26:47 on December 9. (Japan Standard Time)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly and 15 minutes and 11 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the HTV6 was confirmed. The HTV6 will gradually get closer to and will be berthed at the ISS. Don’t miss the live docking coverage on our website.

KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 Successfully Launched

Dec. 8, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 9:35 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.)

The launch time of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with the KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was set for 10:26:47 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time.)
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Tanegashima Space Center from 9:35 p.m. on the 9th. You can watch it through the Internet. Please have a look!

 KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 9:35 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.)

Nov. 15, 2016 Updated
The Launch date of the Epsilon-2 with the ERG satellite on board- December 20

JAXA announced that the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) on board will be launched sometime between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 20, 2016 (Japan Standard Time). Live launch coverage from the Uchinoura Space Center will be carried on YouTube. More detail will be available shortly.
JAXA is happy to hear from dear readers. Please send words of encouragement to the project members of the Epsilon and of the ERG mission.

The Launch date of the Epsilon-2 with the ERG satellite on board- December 20

Nov. 2, 2016 Updated
"Himawari-9" lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F31.

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 31 with the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-9" onboard lifted off at 3:20 p.m. on November 2, 2016 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at about 27 minutes and 51 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the "Himawari-9" was confirmed.

"Himawari-9" lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F31.

Oct. 31, 2016 Updated
New launch date and time of Himawari-9/H-IIA F31 decided

The Himawari-9/H-IIA F31 launch was postponed to 3:20:00 p.m. on November 2 due to adverse weather. The launch was originally scheduled for November 1.
Accordingly, the live broadcast of the launch will start at 2:40 p.m. on Nov. 2. Please don’t miss it!
Your support messages are very much welcome through Twitter (Hashtag #himawari9).

New launch date and time of Himawari-9/H-IIA F31 decided

Oct. 19, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) Makes Debut to Media

On October 19, members of the media were invited to view KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6), H-II transfer vehicle to the Space Station. The event was held at Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) and attracted many as it showed actual HTV6 before launch.
At the premiere, Hirohiko Uematsu, Director of HTV Technology Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA explained the general facts and the payloads of HTV6, and addressed the records of past HTV operations, improvements, and the progress of launch preparation.
Koichi Inoue, Team Leader of KITE, Research and Development Directorate, JAXA spoke about KITE, Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiment. JAXA is making an attempt of on-orbit demonstration of electrodynamic tether (EDT) on HTV. KITE is expected to develop the system which through the use of EDT eliminates space debris on low-earth orbits. The tether length is approximately 700 m, on an unprecedented scale. Space debris has increasingly become a serious issue.
HTV6 will shortly undergo its final preparation procedure, where loading of propellant, encapsulation in its payload fairing, and docking to HTV6 will ensue. The launch is scheduled at around 10:26 pm on December 9 (Fri.), (Japan Standard Time) (subject to change by the international coordination for ISS operations) at TNSC.

KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) Makes Debut to Media

Oct. 7, 2016 Updated
Launch Schedule of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) Updated to December 9

The launch schedule of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) on board, temporarily postponed has been updated to around 10:26 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.), (Japan Standard Time, JST).
JAXA appreciates messages to KOUNOTORI mission and the project team. Please write to following site.

Launch Schedule of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) Updated to December 9

Sep. 2, 2016 Updated
H-IIA F31 with Himawari-9 onboard to be launched on Nov. 1

The launch schedule of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 31 (H-IIA F31) has been decided to be between 3:20 thru 6:18 p.m. on Nov. 1 (Tue), 2016 (Japan Standard time). The launch will be performed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA.
The H-IIA F31 will carry the geostationary meteorological satellite "Himarawi-9," which will be operated for observation by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

H-IIA F31 with Himawari-9 onboard to be launched on Nov. 1

Aug. 10, 2016 Updated
Launch Postponement of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA decided to postpone the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) onboard which was scheduled for October 1 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time), as unfavorable.
The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
(Reason for the delay)
A slight leak was detected from piping of the HTV6 during an air tightness test. The test is part of HTV6 launch preparations at the launch site. We will disband the HTV6 module and take necessary measures.

Launch Postponement of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6)

Jul. 26, 2016 Updated
Launch day set for KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 (H-IIB F6) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI6" (HTV6) onboard was set for around 2:16 a.m. on October 1 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.
We welcome your support messages to KOUNOTORI6 mission and its project team members!

Launch day set for KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6!

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

Feb. 17, 2016 Updated
ASTRO-H successfully launched and named “Hitomi”.

H-IIA F30 with the "ASTRO-H" onboard launched at 5:45 p.m. on Feb 17, 2016 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The rocket flew smoothly, and, at about 14 minutes after liftoff, "ASTRO-H" was separated from the H-IIA F30.
ASTRO-H is the eye to study the hot and energetic universe. Therefore we name ASTRO-H, "Hitomi". The word "Hitomi".generally means "eye", and specifically the pupil, or entrance window of the eye – the aperture!

ASTRO-H successfully launched and named “Hitomi”.

Jan. 15, 2016 Updated
The launch results of the S-310-44 sounding rocket

On Friday, January 15, JAXA launched the S-310-44 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch had the objective of “The Clarification of the Heated Phenomenon of Ionospheric Plasma”.
The flight was a success and the S-310-44 dropped into the southeastern ocean off Uchinoura.
The ensuing experiment will clarify the heated phenomenon which occurs in the proximity of the focus of Sq current system (*), generated in the lower ionosphere. Therefore, the detailed measurements were performed on the plasma and the electric and the magnetic fields in the high temperature layer. JAXA and other institutes will thoroughly analyze the observation data. (Photo: S-310-36 sounding rocket)
(*) Sq current system: the electric current in the lower ionosphere, which originates with the atmospheric movement. The energy input from the sun generates the movement.

The launch results of the S-310-44 sounding rocket

Dec. 22, 2015 Updated
The static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle carried out

On Monday, December 21, JAXA conducted the static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the Enhanced Launch Vehicle in Noshiro Rocket Center (Noshiro City, Akita). M-35 was designed to improve the launch capabilities. The experiment was done with a view to ensuring its design, under the simulated vacuum conditions.
The weather was overcast, at 2.5 m/sec easterly winds. The test started on time, from 11am (JST) and the firing lasted for approximately 2 minutes. The maximum firing pressure was 5.55 MPa (preliminary figure).
The test results will be analyzed and be reflected in the enhanced Epsilon designs.
The Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) will be launched by the Epsilon in the Japanese fiscal 2016.  

The static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle carried out

Nov. 24, 2015 Updated
Telstar 12 VANTAGE lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F29.

The H-IIA F29 with Telstar 12 VANTAGE onboard lifted off at 3:50:00 p.m. on Nov. 24, (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 4 hours and 27 minutes after liftoff, the separation of the Telstar 12 VANTAGE was confirmed.

H-IIA F29 incorporates the outcome of the H-IIA UPGRADE. Following a long coast, the 3rd burn of the upgraded 2nd stage was conducted successfully. Then, Telstar 12 VANTAGE was injected closer to geostationary orbit than previous standard transfer orbit.

Telstar 12 VANTAGE lifted off for space! Launch Success of H-IIA F29.

Nov. 22, 2015 Updated
H-IIA F29 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 24 (Tue.)

The launch time of the Upgraded H-IIA (H-IIA F29) was set for 3:23 p.m. on November 24 (Tue.) 2015 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Tanegashima Space Center from 2:45 p.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet at home. Please do not miss this event!
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #h2af29.

H-IIA F29 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 24 (Tue.)

Sep. 30, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI5 (HTV5, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Sept. 29 and re-entered the atmosphere at around 5:33 a.m. on Sept. 30 (Japan Standard Time.)
The KOUNOTORI 5 successfully achieved its mission of taking cargo to the ISS, then completed all its tasks over about 42 days.
We would like to send our sincere appreciation to all of you who have been supporting the KOUNOTORI project. (Photo: JAXA/NASA)

KOUNOTORI5 completed its mission with re-entry!

Sep. 18, 2015 Updated
Upgraded H-IIA (H-IIA F29) launch on Nov. 24

The launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No..29 (H-IIA F29) was set to be between 3:23 p.m. thru 5:07 p.m. on Nov. 24 (Tue.), 2015 (Japan Standard Time).
Our achievement of developing an upgraded flagship launch vehicle for acquiring global-level launch capacity of a geostationary satellite (upgraded specifications) is incorporated into the second stage of the H-IIA F29. With the upgraded technology, our launch vehicle will be further improved to be more user friendly and useful than the conventional H-IIA.
H-IIA F29 launch will be broadcasted live.

Upgraded H-IIA (H-IIA F29) launch on Nov. 24

Sep. 16, 2015 Updated
Live Internet broadcast of KOUNOTORI5’s departure from ISS on Sept. 28 (Mon.)

The KOUNOTORI5 will leave the International Space Station (ISS) at 0:20 a.m. on September 29 (Tue.), and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere at around 5:31 a.m. on the 30th (Wed.) to burn up. JAXA will broadcast the live report of its separation from the ISS through the Internet from around 11:50 p.m. on Sept. 28 (Mon.). Please don’t miss it! (All dates and time are Japan Standard Time.) (Photo: JAXA/NASA)

Live Internet broadcast of KOUNOTORI5’s departure from ISS on Sept. 28 (Mon.)

Sep. 11, 2015 Updated
Launch result of S-520-30 sounding rocket

JAXA successfully launched the S-520-30 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center on September 11 (Fri.), 2015, with the objective of “clarifying the nucleation process of oxide-based cosmic dusts”.
The flight went smoothly, and the onboard instruments worked properly.
After completing its mission, the S-520-30 dropped into the south eastern ocean off Uchinoura Through the experiment this time, we evaporated oxides under the micro-gravity environment by ballistic flight of the S-520-30, and directly measured the generation and growth process of oxide particles that were condensing after the evaporation.

Launch result of S-520-30 sounding rocket

Aug. 25, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 captured and berthed at the ISS

The “KOUNOTORI5” launched by the H-IIB F5 on Aug. 19 (Wed. Japan Standard Time) was captured by the robotic arm of the International Space Station (ISS), which was maneuvered by Astronaut Kimiya Yui, at 7:29 p.m. on August 24 (Mon. JST). The HTV5 was then successfully berthed at the ISS at 2:28 a.m. on August 25 (Tue. JST).
The internal cargo as well as external cargo, such as CALET, on the KOUNOTORI5 will be unloaded by the onboard crew. (Photo: NASA TV)

KOUNOTORI5 captured and berthed at the ISS

Aug. 19, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 successfully launched by H-IIB F5!

The KOUNOTORI5, a regular cargo transporter to space, was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.5 (H-IIB F5) at 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 14 minutes and 54 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KOUNOTORI5 was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI5 will fly near the International Space Station, and Astronaut Yui will maneuver the robotic arm to capture it. We plan to broadcast his performance through the Internet from around 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 24 (Mon.) Please don't miss it!

KOUNOTORI5 successfully launched by H-IIB F5!

Aug. 17, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 launch rescheduled to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015

The KOUNOTORI5(HTV5)/H-IIB F5 launch was postponed to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 due to adverse weather.
Accordingly, the live launch report will begin at 8:00 p.m. on August 19 (Wed. , JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #HTV5.

KOUNOTORI5 launch rescheduled to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015

Aug. 16, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 19 (Wed., JST)

The launch date of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 carrying the KOUNOTORI5 has been postponed as unfavorable weather is forecasted. The launch was originally scheduled for August 17. The live broadcast of the launch will also be put off accordingly.
Your support messages are very much welcome through Twitter (Hashtag “#HTV5”) or via the following website.

KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 19 (Wed., JST)

Aug. 15, 2015 Updated
New launch date and time of KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5 decided

The KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5 launch was postponed to 9:35:54 p.m. on August 17 due to adverse weather. The launch was originally scheduled for August 16..
Accordingly, the live broadcast of the launch will start at 8:50 p.m. on Aug. 17. Please don’t miss it!.
Your support messages are very much welcome through Twitter (Hashtag “#HTV5”) or via the following website.

New launch date and time of KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5 decided

Aug. 14, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 17 (Mon., JST)

The launch date of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 carrying the KOUNOTORI5 has been postponed as unfavorable weather is forecasted. The launch was originally scheduled for August 16. The live broadcast of the launch will also be put off accordingly.
Your support messages are very much welcome through Twitter (Hashtag “#HTV5”) or via the following website.

KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 17 (Mon., JST)

Aug. 6, 2015 Updated
Development progress for Enhanced Epsilon

The development of the Enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle has been going smoothly.
The static firing test of the sub-sized upper-stage motor was completed before the end of March, 2015, as scheduled.
On June 18, shocks and behavior due to the payload separation impact were checked through the pyro-shock test at the Sagamihara Campus.
The Enhanced Epsilon has a better launch capacity compared to the first Epsilon launched in Sept. 2013. The goal is to launch the Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace “ERG” in JFY 2016.

Development progress for Enhanced Epsilon

Jul. 21, 2015 Updated
Dates set for capturing the KOUNOTORI5 and its berthing with ISS Astronaut Yui to be in charge of operation

After international coordination, the dates for capturing the KOUNOTORI5, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), and its berthing have been respectively set as August 20 (Thu.) and 21 (Fri.) The KOUNOTORI5 is scheduled to be launched on August 16 (Sun.) from the Tahegashima Space Center.
It was also decided that Astronaut Kimiya Yui will manipulate the ISS robotic arm to capture the KOUNOTORI2.

Dates set for capturing the KOUNOTORI5 and its berthing with ISS Astronaut Yui to be in charge of operation

Jul. 10, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 and operation simulation training opened to the press

On July 1, the KOUNOTORI5, a cargo transporter to the ISS, was revealed to the media at the Tanegashima Space Center. The mission was also explained there.
From the evening of July 9 to the morning of the 10th, simulation training for the KOUNOTORI5 operation and control was held in the KOUNOTORI operation room at the Tsukuba Space Center, and part of it was also open to the press. This training was a last opportunity for a joint session between JAXA and NASA before the KOUNOTORI5 launch. On the NASA side, Astronaut Wakata participated in the training as a CAPCOM (capsule/spacecraft communicator).

KOUNOTORI5 and operation simulation training opened to the press

Jun. 9, 2015 Updated
Launch day set for KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 (H-IIB F5) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) onboard was set for around 10:01 p.m. on August 16 (Sun.), 2015 (Japan Standard Time).
The H-IIB F5 has already been transported to the TNSC, and it is now being assembled there.
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

Launch day set for KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5!

Dec. 3, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" successfully launched!

H-IIA F26 with the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" onboard launched at 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3, 2014 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The rocket flew smoothly, and, at about approximately one hour, 47 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff, "Hayabusa2" was separated from the H-IIA F26. We will update you with the latest information on the "Hayabusa2" on the project page.
Please send your support messages for the mission! (you can send a message from Hayabusa2 Project page or tweet with hashtag #hayabusa2).

"Hayabusa2" successfully launched!

Nov. 30, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to 1:22:04 p.m. on December 3 (Mon.) 2014

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA have decided to postpone the launch of "Hayabusa2" and piggyback payloads by the H-IIA F26 to 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3 (Wed. JST).

The live launch report will begin at 12:25 p.m. on December 3 (Mon. , JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission! (you can send a message from Hayabusa2 Project page or tweet with hashtag #hayabusa2).

We decided to postpone as a result of the go/no go decision meeting today which carefully checked the weather forecast and found that strong wind exceeding the weather restrictions was projected around the launch pad at the scheduled launch time on the previous schedule launch day of Dec. 1 (Mon.), 2014.
*The launch may be delayed further depending on weather conditions and other factors.

"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to  1:22:04 p.m. on December 3 (Mon.) 2014

Nov. 29, 2014 Updated
"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon.) 2014

The launch of the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" and three micro piggyback payloads by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 was rescheduled at 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon. Japan Standard Time, JST) after carefully studying the weather conditions.
Accordingly, the live launch report will begin at 12:25 p.m. on December 1 (Mon. , JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #hayabusa2.

"Hayabusa2" Launch rescheduled to 1:22:43 p.m. on December 1 (Mon.) 2014

Nov. 28, 2014 Updated
Hayabusa2 launch postponement

H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.26 with the Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" onboard has been rescheduled as clouds including a freezing layer that exceeds the restrictions for suitable weather are forecast to be generated at around the scheduled launch time on November 30 (Sun.), 2014 (Japan Standard Time.)
The new launch day will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Hayabusa2 launch postponement

Aug. 17, 2014 Updated
Launch Result of S-520-29 Sounding Rocket

JAXA launched the S-520-29 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center on August 17 (Sunday), 2014, with the objective of the "stereoscope observation of Sporadic E layer space structure." The experiment was successful.
The S-520-29 dropped into the south eastern ocean off Uchinoura after its normal flight and operation of onboard experiment instruments.

Launch Result of S-520-29 Sounding Rocket

May 24, 2014 Updated
Successful launch of H-IIA F 24 with DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2)!

The launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 24 with The Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) aboard was successfully performed at 12:05:14 p.m. on May 24 (Sat.) 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
The launch vehicle flew normally and separated the DAICHI-2 at about 15 minutes and 47 seconds after liftoff. The DAICHI-2 will conduct critical phase operations including deploying the PALSER-2 antenna. We await your support messages!

Successful launch of H-IIA F 24 with DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2)!

May 22, 2014 Updated
DAICHI-2/H-IIA F24 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 11:15 a.m. on May 24 (Sat.)

The launch time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 14 (H-IIA F14) with the DAICHI-2 onboard was set for 12:05:14 p.m. on May 24 (Sat.) 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Tanegashima Space Center from 11:15 a.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet at home. Please do not miss this event!
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #daichi2.

DAICHI-2/H-IIA F24 to be launched soon! Live broadcast from 11:15 a.m. on May 24 (Sat.)

May 1, 2014 Updated
DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) revealed to the media at TNSC

On March 28 (Fri.), the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 “DAICHI-2”(ALOS-2) was revealed to the press at the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building 2 (STA-2) at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.)
Project manager Shinichi Suzuki, who has been involved in the project since the DAICHI, the predecessor of the DAICHI-2, commented, “We have developed high-quality radar and data transmission technologies this time. Whenever our test results did not seem logical, we discussed the results in cooperation with the manufacturer and related workers to find a solution. Now, I would like to brace myself for the launch."

The DAICHI-2 will be launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 24 on May 24 (Sat.) after going through final preparations. Once the DAICHI-2 is launched, we hope it will work hard for us without coming back to the Earth again.
DAICHI-2, have a safe trip under the best preparations!

Support messages for the DAICHI-2 launch are welcomed at the special site.

DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) revealed to the media at TNSC

Mar. 31, 2014 Updated
DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) transportation to Tanegashima

We would like to report to you the transportation of the DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) from the Mitsubishi Electric's Kamakura Works, where its assembly and tests were conducted, to the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC).
Preparation for the transportation began around noon on Feb. 21.After midnight, or in the very early morning of the 22nd, the DAICHI, packed in a container, was loaded onto a large truck to go to Kawasaki Port.
The container was then placed on a boat at the port to make a 56-hour trip by sea to Shimama Port on Tanegashima Island.
The container unloaded from the ship waited on a large tractor till late at night when traffic became lighter, and it was transported to the TNSC.
The DAICH-2 was moved into the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building 2 (STA2) at the TNSC and unpacked there. The satellite will undergo various checks there.

DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) transportation to Tanegashima

Mar. 14, 2014 Updated
Launch date set for DAICHI-2 on H-IIA F24!

The launch date and time for the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 24 (H-IIA F24) with the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) onboard was decided to be at around 12:05 p.m. thru 12:20 p.m. (JST) on May 24 (Sat.,) 2014 (Japan Standard Time.)
The "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2) is a follow-on mission from the “DAICHI” (ALOS). It is equipped with the L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR-2), and its major mission objectives are to secure the safety of people’s lives and to solve global environmental problems.
The latest information about the DAICHI-2 and its launch preparation status will be updated on this page.

Launch date set for DAICHI-2 on H-IIA F24!

Nov. 7, 2013 Updated
Epsilon Launch Vehicle awarded Good Design Award Gold Award

The first Epsilon Launch vehicle (Epsilon-1) developed and launched by JAXA in September 2013 received the JFY 2013 Good Design Award Gold Award sponsored by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.
Epsilon was listed as one of the 1,212 Good Design Award winners from 3,400 nominees, then selected for the best 100 products, and finally chosen for the Gold Award this time.

Epsilon Launch Vehicle awarded Good Design Award Gold Award

Sep. 7, 2013 Updated
KOUNOTORI4 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Sept. 5 and re-entered the atmosphere at 3:37 p.m. on Sept. 7 (Japan Standard Time.)
The KOUNOTORI 4 successfully achieved its mission of taking cargo to the ISS, then completed all its tasks over about 36 days.
We would like to send our sincere appreciation to all of you who have been supporting the KOUNOTORI project.

KOUNOTORI4 completed its mission with re-entry!

Aug. 4, 2013 Updated
Launch Success of KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 with the KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at4:48:46 a.m. on August 4 (Sun., Japan Standard Time.)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and at 14 minutes and 59 seconds after liftoff, the KOUNOTORI4 separation was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI4 will gradually go closer to the International Space Station, and it will be berthed at the ISS. We will broadcast the berthing on our website, so don't miss it!

Launch Success of KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4

Dec. 17, 2012 Updated
S-520-28 launch completed

JAXA launched the sounding rocket S-520-28 at 4:00:00 p.m. on December 17, 2012 (Japan Standard Time) from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch aims at conducting a homogeneous nucleation experiment* using the microgravity environment. The vertical angle at the launch was 76 degrees and the experiment went smoothly as planned. The flight and operation of the onboard equipment went well, and, at 10 seconds after liftoff, the nucleation experiment with calcium carbonate started, then at 100 seconds, the nucleation reproduction test started as planned.
The sounding rocket then reached its maximum altitude of 312 km at 283 seconds after liftoff, then dropped into the south eastern ocean off Uchinoura. The acquired data this time will be analyzed in detail.

*In the homogeneous nucleation experiment, we aimed at observing nucleation, which was the first phase of crystallization, by utilizing the microgravity environment during the first few minutes of flight while the sounding rocket was on a ballistic trajectory, then to understand the physics of nucleation. In addition, the experiment also had a purpose of acquiring basic data for future long-term tests to be held repeatedly at the International Space Station.

S-520-28 launch completed

May 26, 2011 Updated
AJISAI received the Tsuboi Prize of the Geodetic Society of Japan (Group Prize)

The 25-year operation and precious observation data of the Experimental Geodetic Satellite "AJISAI" (EGS) was highly evaluated by the Geodetic Society of Japan, and, on May 23, 2011, the Tsuboi Prize (Group Prize) was awarded to a group led by former space verification team project manager Eiichi Hashimoto. The group consists of JAXA, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI), and Hitotsubashi University. The AJISAI was launched on August 13, 1986, to establish the Japan's geodetic datum. The Tsuboi Prize of the Geodetic Society of Japan (Group Prize) is awarded to a group that has made outstanding contributions to geodetic studies as organizational activities are particularly important for geodetic research.

AJISAI's major achievements

  • Contributions to updating a nautical chart of Japan's neighboring waters and determining locations of islets (JCG's original objectives)
  • Communications and positioning experiments and technological developments (NICT, Hitotsubashi Univ.)
  • Research on satellite rotation (GSI)
  • Acquired technology for accurate orbit determination by laser ranging (JAXA)
  • Decided the 36th to 50th gravity field model (world research institutes, such as Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL, and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR)
  • Contributed to construct the International Terrestrial Reference Frames (ITRF)
  • Determined the absolute value of the velocity field for plate tectonics motion thanks to the long-term motion analysis of 25 years by the AJISAI
  • Recently verified that the core inside the Earth is vibrating through the analysis combined with the LAGIOS1/2 . The result of the verified fact was incorporated into the new earth rotation model (IERS2010.)

AJISAI received the Tsuboi Prize of the Geodetic Society of Japan (Group Prize)

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