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Launch Overview H-IIA Launch Services Flight No.15 - Satellite: IBUKI (GOSAT)

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Launch Overview

H-ⅡA F15

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will be launching the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The satellite will be mounted on top of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.15 (H-IIA F15) and launched from the Tanegashima Space Center.

Launch Overview
Scheduled Launch Date January 23 (Friday), 2009
Scheduled Launch Window 12:54 p.m. through 1:16 p.m. JST
Reserved Launch Period January 24 (Saturday) through February 28 (Saturday), 2009, excluding January 26 (Monday), 2009
January 26, 2009 is ruled out as a launch date because of the expected impact of the solar eclipse to take place one day later.
Launch Site Yoshinobu Launch Complex at JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center
IBUKI Injection Orbit Sun-synchronous subrecurrent orbit (orbital parameters shown below):
Perigee Altitude: 667 kilometers
Apogee Altitude: 683 kilometers
Inclination: 98.0 degrees

IBUKI Overview

In order to promote preventive measures for global warming that are adopted by countries all over the world, it is imperative to learn the behavior of greenhouse gases that cause global warming on earth. The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) is a collaborative project by JAXA, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES,) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to provide the world's first satellite to observe global greenhouse gasses from space. Data acquired by the "IBUKI" will be utilized to learn the "current" status of the earth concerning global warming and to contribute to a better future for all mankind.

More details (JAXA’s website)

  • Courtesy of JAXA
  • Courtesy of JAXA

Courtesy of JAXA

Overview of H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 (H-IIA F15)

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle Flight No. 15 (H-IIA F15) used to inject IBUKI into sun-synchronous subrecurrent orbit will be an H2A202 model with a 4S Payload Fairing, prepared by MHI. After injecting IBUKI, the H-IIA F15 will issue the separation commands to seven other piggyback payloads into their respective orbits, one after another. For more details, please see our Flight Trajectory and Flight Timeline.

More details for piggyback payloads (JAXA’s website)

Piggyback Payloads (Courtesy of JAXA) Piggyback Payloads (Courtesy of JAXA)

H-IIA F15 Specification
Length (meter) 53
Liftoff Mass (metric ton) 289 (without payload mass)
Guidance Method Inertial Guidance Method
H-IIA F15 Specification
  First Stage SRB-A Second Stage Payload Fairing
Length (meter) 37 15 11 12
Diameter (meter) 4.0 2.5 4.0 4.0
Mass (metric ton) 114 153
(2 units)
20 1.4
Propellant Mass (metric ton) 101 132
(2 units)
17 -
Thrust (kilo Newton) 1,100 * 4,525 * 137 * -
Burning Time (second) 390 120 530 -
Propellant LOX / LH2 Polybutadiene
Composite Solid
LOX / LH2 -
Propellant Loading Method Turbo pump - Turbo pump -
Specific Impulse (second) 440 * 283.6 * 448 * -
Altitude Control Gimbal
Gimballed nozzle
Gimbal engine
Gas jet system
Avionics Control
- Guidance
Navigation and
Control Systems,
  • * In vacuum. In SRB-A, the specific impulse is defined at maximum thrust point.

Flight Trajectory

Flight Trajectory

Flight Timeline

Flight Timeline

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