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H-IIA 204

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Launch Status



  • Type: Communications
  • Orbit: Geostationary Transfer Orbit

ETS-VIII (Engineering Test Satellite) is to be launched in 2006, with the main purpose of dealing with the increasing demand for digital communications, such as mobile phones and other mobile devices. The satellite, with a gross weight of around three tons and a diameter of 40 meters, has two Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors (LDAR) and two Solar Array paddles. One LDAR, about the size of a tennis court, is one of the world’s largest geostationary satellites. Its size will enable direct communications with a geostationary satellite that covers all of Japan, making mobile communications more reliable. Currently under development are Large Deployable Antenna Reflectors with metal-mesh, high-power transponders, and on-board processors. The technologies used in the development of these LDARs will be applicable to other large space structures. A subscale test of the LDARs was flown as the LDREX experiment.


Yoshinobu Launch Complex LP-1

Tanegashima Space Center, Japan

Yoshinobu Launch Complex LP-1 has witnessed the launch of 55 rockets, including 55 orbital launch attempts, while Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, has been the site for 90 rocket launches.

Yoshinobu Launch Complex LP-1


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA 204

The H-IIA rocket family is an expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The liquid fuelled rocket has been used to launch satellites, lunar spacecraft and planetary science craft.


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is Japan’s national aero-space agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on 1 October 2003. JAXA is responsible for research, technology development and the launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in many more advanced missions, such as asteroid exploration and possible manned exploration of the Moon. JAXA launch their Epsilon vehicle from the Uchinoura Space Center and their H-II vehicles from the Tanegashima Space Center.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
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