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Special Website 'SHIZUKU' 'Arirang-3' Launch on H-2A No. 21 Launch Vehicle Launch Overview

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Launch Overview

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. will launch, from Tanegashima Space Center, Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 "Arirang-3" (KOMPSAT-3) developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) by the H-IIA launch vehicles No.21(H-IIA F21). In addition to these two main satellites, two small satellites, the Small Demonstration Satellite-4 (SDS-4) developed by JAXA and the High Voltage Technology Demonstration Satellite (HORYU-2) developed by Kyushu Institute of Technology will be carried by same launch vehicle.

Main Specifications for the Launch Vehicle
Name H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 21
Vehicle Specs H2A202
Length 57 meter
Lift off mass 289 metric ton (excluding the weight of satellites)
  • The 21st launch by H-2A launch vehicle that have achieved 95% launch success rate.
  • Dual launch of 'Arirang-3', the first satellite for overseas customers, and the JAXA satellite 'SHIZUKU'
  • Launch of two small satellites by making use of remaining launch capability of H-2A

For inquiries about H-IIA Launch Service, please click

Summary of the Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1)


Courtesy of JAXA

The "Global Change Observation Mission" (GCOM) aims to construct, use, and verify systems that enable continuous global-scale observations (for 10 to 15 years) of effective geophysical parameters for elucidating global climate change and water circulation mechanisms.
The GCOM mission is a two series of satellites, GCOM-W for observing water circulation changes and GCOM-C for climate changes. The GCOM-W with a microwave radiometer onboard will observe precipitation, vapor amounts, wind velocity above the ocean, sea water temperature, water levels on land areas, and snow depths.
The GCOM-W1 is the first satellite for the GCOM-W series.

For more information,click here (JAXA Website)

Summary of the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 "Arirang 3" (KOMPSAT-3)


Courtesy of KARI

The goal of the KOMPSAT-3 project is to develop the KOMPSAT-3 satellite using the technology obtained through the KOMPSAT-1 project and the KOMPSAT-2 project. It aims to wholly meet the nation's satellite demand and form a technology infrastructure that will make inroads into the world space industry at a stage when the industry is improving the capability to develop and design highly advanced remote sensing satellites.
It will operate at an altitude of 685 kilometers in a sun-synchronous orbit with 4 years of mission life time using a payload capable of submeter class resolution. The mission objectives of the KOMPSAT-3 are to provide continuous satellite earth observation after KOMPSAT-1 and KOMPSAT-2 and to meet the nation's needs for high-resolution EO (Electro-Optical) images required for GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and other environmental, agricultural and oceanographic monitoring applications.

For more information, click here(KARI Website)

Summary of the H-IIA No. 21 Launch Vehicle (H-IIA F21)

Using the H-IIA No. 21 launch vehicle, a standard form of H2A202 type, powered by two solid rocket boosters (SRB-A), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd will inject the main satellites, "Arirang-3" and "SHIZUKU," into sun-synchronous subrecurrent orbits, then transmitting separation signals to the two small satellites. A "4/4D-LC" type satellite fairing 4meters in diameter and 16meters in height will be employed to protect these satellites from various environments during liftoff. The fairing has two compartments to contain satellites to independently control the internal environment for each satellite. The two small satellites are loaded in the appropriate position of lower compartment together with "SHIZUKU."

SDS-4 HORYU-2
Scheduled date of Launch May 18(Friday),2012
Launch Time 1:39 a.m. through 1:42 a.m.(Japan Standard Time)
Launch Windows May 19(Saturday) through June 30(Saturday),2012
Launch Site

Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Center

Link to Launch Site


Courtesy of JAXA

Flight Plan for the H-IIA No. 21