MHI Launch Services: Launch Site

The H-IIA and the H-IIB is launched from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC). Located on the southeastern tip of Tanegashima Island in southern Kagoshima, the TNSC ranks as the most beautiful launch site in the world. Since its completion by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (currently, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)) in 1966, the TNSC has been Japan's largest and most important space facility. Most of the country's major launch vehicles are launched from this site since 1968.

The TNSC has all the facilities necessary for safe and smooth launch operations. The H-IIA and the H-IIB are launched from the "Large Launch Complex" at the TNSC.

JAXA Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC)
JAXA Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC)

Main Facilities

Launch Pad No. 1 was built in 1993 to launch the H-II. Later, it was modified for H-IIA launches. Launch Pad No. 2 is mainly for launching the H-IIB, now these two launch Pads are operated for our launch services. Besides the launch pad, the complex includes a vehicle assembly building, the No. 2 spacecraft test and assembly building, a spacecraft and fairing assembly building, and a Movable Launcher.

The final pre-launch assembly and various functional tests on the satellites delivered to the TNSC are performed in the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building and Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building. The customer visits the spacecraft and fairing assembly building to load the satellite propellant and encapsulate the satellite into the payload fairing.

Next, the fairing containing the customer's satellite is transported to the launch vehicle in the vehicle assembly building. At this point the first stage, second stage, SRB-A, and all of the other launch vehicle components have been assembled, and all of the checks and maintenance tasks for the launch vehicle have been completed.

The movable launcher in the vehicle assembly building transports the launch vehicle and satellite to the launch pad. The customer may choose to oversee operations in person from a pressurization room installed on the movable launcher for facility installations for satellite GSE (Ground Support Equipment). Once loaded onto the launch vehicle, the satellite is monitored and controlled remotely via the customer's GSE in the pressurization room and the network within the complex. After transport to the launch pad, the satellite can be monitored by the same systems.

Map of Tanegashima
(Courtesy of JAXA)

Pictures during Launch Campaign

Launch vehicle arrival at Tanegashima
Integration at the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
H-IIA Launch Vehicle on its way to the launch pad.

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