Space Transportation Systems H-IIA Launch Vehicle

In Operation

About H-IIA Launch Vehicle

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle has been in operation since 2001 as a highly reliable large-sized mainstay rocket, and is continuously used in missions to launch satellites and space probes. The launch service operations were transferred in 2007 to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., with JAXA in charge of launch safety management (such as ensuring ground and flight safety).

Project Topics

Oct. 29, 2018 Updated

Successful Launch, H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 Encapsulating "IBUKI-2"(GOSAT-2) and KhalifaSat

Successful Launch, H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 Encapsulating "IBUKI-2"(GOSAT-2) and KhalifaSat

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 40 with the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 "IBUKI-2"(GOSAT-2) and KhalifaSat, a remote sensing Earth observation satellite onboard lifted off at 13:08:00 p.m. on October 29, 2018 (Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch and flight of H-IIA F40 proceeded as planned. So did the separation of GOSAT-2 and KhalifaSat, which was confirmed respectively at approximately 16 minutes and 09 seconds and 24 minutes and 15 seconds after lifto...

Characteristics of H-IIA Launch Vehicle

Major Characteristics

Major Specifications of the H-IIA launch vehicle

Length (m) 53
Liftoff mass (t) 289 (without payload mass)
Guidance Method Inertial Guidance Method
First Stage SRB-A SSB Second Stage Payload
Length (m) 37.2 15.1 14.9 9.2 12
Diameter (m) 4 2.5 1 4 4.07
Mass (t) 114 151 (2 units) 31 (2 units) 20 1.4
Propellant mass 101.1 130 (2 units) 52.4 (4 units) 16.9 -
Thrust (KN) 1,098 5,040 (2 units) 1,490 (2 units) 137 -
Burning time (s) 390 100 60 530 -
Propellant Lox/LH2 Polybutadiene composite solid propellant Polybutadiene composite solid propellant Lox/LH2 -
Propellant Loading Method Turbo pomp - - Turbo pomp -
Specific Impulse (s) 440 283 282 448 -
Attitude control method Gimbal engine system
Auxiliary engine
Gimballed nozzle system Gimballed nozzle system Gimbal engine system
Gas jet system
Avionics Control Systems,
Telemetry Transmitter
- - Guidance Navigation,
and Control Systems,
Rader Transponder,
Telemetly Transmitter,
Command Destruct Receiver

Launch Capability (H-IIA Standard)

Orbit Altitude Payloads
Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
about 36,000km about 4t
Low Earth Orbit
(Inclination:30 degrees)
about 300km about 10t
Sun Synchronous Orbit
(Summer/Other seasons)
about 800km about 4t / about 3.8t
Escape from the Earth Gravitation Planetary Mission about 2.5t

H-IIA Lineup

H-IIA Launch Vehicle can be in various configurations by installing solid rocket boosters (SRB-As) additionally. H-IIA can answer various launch needs of payload size and weight by its family members.

* Currently, only H2A202 and H2A204 types are in operation.

Upgrading JAXA's flagship launch vehicle

JAXA is proud of the launch success rate of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, which is among the highest levels in the world. However, as it has been 14 years since its maiden launch, some issues have been raised such as the aging launch facility and the need for a larger payload launch capacity. JAXA is conducting the H-IIA upgrade project to tackle those issues. We will achieve more efficient launch vehicle operations by improving H-IIA launch capability and its global competitiveness, and simplifying the ground facility.

H-IIA Upgrade Project

Improved function and performance

(1) Enhanced launch capacity of a geostationary satellite
By increasing the duration of flight time and the number of engine ignitions, more flexible flight patterns become possible, and the launch capability of a geostationary satellite is also increased.

(2) Easing the onboard environmental restriction for payloads
The onboard environment has been improved for payloads to among the highest levels in the world by adopting a mechanism that is not based on pyrotechnics.

Reducing maintenance/renovation costs of facility

(3) Simplified ground facility
Ground tracking radars are no longer necessary as the onboard flight safety navigation sensor was developed.

Launch Records

Flight No. Model Launch Date Payload
F42 H2A202 7/20/2020 The Emirates Mars Mission´╝łEMM), "HOPE" probe
F41 H2A202 2/9/2020 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F40 H2A202 10/29/2018 Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 "IBUKI-2" (GOSAT-2)
F39 H2A202 6/12/2018 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F38 H2A202 2/27/2018 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F37 H2A202 12/23/2017 Global Change Observation Mission - Climate "SHIKISAI" (GCOM-C)
Super Low Altitude Test Satellite "TSUBAME" (SLATS)
F36 H2A202 10/10/2017 Quasi-Zenith Satellite-4 "MICHIBIKI No. 4"
F35 H2A204 8/19/2017 Quasi-Zenith Satellite-3 "MICHIBIKI No. 3"
F34 H2A202 6/1/2017 Quasi-Zenith Satellite-2 "MICHIBIKI No. 2"
F33 H2A202 3/17/2017 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F32 H2A204 1/24/2017 X-band defense communication satellite-2
F31 H2A202 11/2/2016 Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-9"
F30 H2A202 2/17/2016 X-ray Astronomy Satellite "Hitomi" (ASTRO-H)
H2A204 11/24/2015 Telstar 12 VANTAGE
F28 H2A202 3/26/2015 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F27 H2A202 2/1/2015 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F26 H2A202 12/3/2014 Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2"
F25 H2A202 10/7/2014 Geostationary Meteorological Satellite "Himawari-8"
F24 H2A202 5/24/2014 Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 "DAICHI-2" (ALOS-2)
F23 H2A202 2/28/2014 Global Precipitation Measurement/Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (GPM/DPR)
F22 H2A202 1/27/2013 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F21 H2A202 5/18/2012 Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1)
Small Demonstration Satellite-4 (SDS-4)
F20 H2A202 12/12/2011 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F19 H2A202 9/23/2011 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F18 H2A202 9/11/2010 Quasi-Zenith Satellite-1 "MICHIBIKI"
F17 H2A202 5/21/2010 Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" (PLANET-C)
Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun "IKAROS"
F16 H2A202 11/28/2009 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F15 H2A202 1/23/2009 Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT)
Small Demonstration Satellite-1 (SDS-1)
F14 H2A2024 2/23/2008 Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA" (WINDS)
F13 H2A2022 9/14/2007 SELenological and ENgineering Explorer "KAGUYA" (SELENE)
F12 H2A2024 2/24/2007 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F11 H2A204 12/18/2006 Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No.8" (ETS-VIII)
F10 H2A202 9/11/2006 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F9 H2A2024 2/18/2006 Multi-functional Transport Satellite-2 "Himawari-7" (MTSAT-2)
F8 H2A2022 1/24/2006 Advanced Land Observing Satellite "Daichi" (ALOS)
F7 H2A2022 2/26/2005 Multi-Functional Transport Satellite-1 Replacement "Himawari-6" (MTSAT-1R)
F6 H2A2024 11/29/2003 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
* H-IIA F6 was consequently destroyed by a destruction command from the ground as the vehicle did not gain enough height and speed due to the failure.
F5 H2A2024 3/28/2003 IGS (Information Gathering Satellites)
F4 H2A202 12/14/2002 Advanced Earth Observation Satellite-II "Midori II" (ADEOS-II)
Engineering Test Satellite "Micro-LabSat"
Whale Ecology Observation Satellite (WEOS)
Federation Satellite (FedSat)
F3 H2A2024 9/10/2002 Data Relay Test Satellite "KODAMA" (DRTS)
Unmanned Space Experiment Recovery System (USERS)
TF2 H2A2024 2/4/2002 Mission Demonstration test Satellite-1 "TSUBASA" (MDS-1)
H-IIA Vehicle Evaluation Payload #3 (VEP-3)
DASH (Demonstrator of Atmospheric Reentry System with Hyper Velocity)
TF1 H2A202 8/29/2001 Laser Ranging Equipment (LRE)
H-IIA Vehicle Evaluation Payload #2 (VEP-2)