|Function||Medium-lift launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|Cost per launch||US$90 million |
|Height||53 m (174 ft)|
|Diameter||4 m (13 ft)|
|Mass||285,000–445,000 kg (628,000–981,000 lb)|
|Payload to LEO|
|Mass||10,000–15,000 kg (22,000–33,000 lb)|
|Payload to GTO|
|Mass||4,200–6,000 kg (9,300–13,200 lb)|
|Launch sites||Tanegashima, LA-Y|
|Boosters – SRB-A|
|Thrust||2,260 kN (510,000 lbf)|
|Total thrust||4,520–9,040 kN (1,020,000–2,030,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||280 s (2.7 km/s)|
|Burn time||120 seconds|
|Boosters (2022, 2024) – Castor 4A-XL|
|Thrust||745 kN (167,000 lbf)|
|Total thrust||1,490–2,980 kN (330,000–670,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||280 s (2.7 km/s)|
|Burn time||60 seconds|
|Thrust||1,098 kN (247,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||440 s (4.3 km/s)|
|Burn time||390 seconds|
|Propellant||LH2 / LOX|
|Thrust||137 kN (31,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||447 s (4.38 km/s)|
|Burn time||534 seconds|
|Propellant||LH2 / LOX|
H-IIA (H-2A) is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. These liquid fuel rockets have been used to launch satellites into geostationary orbit; lunar orbiting spacecraft; Akatsuki, which studied the planet Venus; and the Emirates Mars Mission, which was launched to Mars in July 2020. Launches occur at the Tanegashima Space Center. The H-IIA first flew in 2001. As of November 2020[update], H-IIA rockets were launched 43 times, including 37 consecutive missions without a failure, dating back to 29 November 2003.
The H-IIA is a derivative of the earlier H-II rocket, substantially redesigned to improve reliability and minimize costs. There have been four variants, with two in active service (as of 2020) for various purposes. A derivative design, the H-IIB, was developed in the 2000s and made its maiden flight in 2009.
The launch capability of an H-IIA launch vehicle can be enhanced by adding SRB-A solid rocket booster (SRB) and Castor 4AXL solid strap-on booster (SSB) to its basic configuration. The models are indicated by three or four numbers following the prefix "H2A":
- The first number in the sequence indicates the number of stages
- The second, the number of liquid rocket boosters (LRBs)
- The third, the number of SRBs
- An optional fourth number shows the number of SSBs.
The first two figures are virtually fixed at "20", as H-IIA is always two-staged, and the plans for LRBs were cancelled and superseded by the H-IIB.
The H-IIA is relatively new from its predecessor, incorporating a new upper stage, consisting of a cylindrical LH2 tank structurally separated from an oblate spheroid LOX tank. The LH2 tank cylinder carries payload launch loads, while the LOX tank and engine are suspended below within the rocket's inter-stage. The stage is powered by a single LE-5B engine.
|Designation||Mass (tonnes)||Payload to GTO (tonnes)||Addon modules|
|H2A 202||285||4.1||2 SRB-A (SRB)|
|H2A 2022 (discontinued) ||316||4.5||2 SRB-A (SRB) + 2 Castor 4AXL (SSB)|
|H2A 2024 (discontinued)||347||5||2 SRB-A (SRB) + 4 Castor 4AXL (SSB)|
|H2A 204||445||6||4 SRB-A (SRB)|
|H2A 212 (cancelled)||403||7.5||2 SRB-A (SRB) + 1 LRB |
|H2A 222 (cancelled)||520||9.5||2 SRB-A (SRB) + 2 LRBs |
The first H-IIA was successfully launched on 29 August 2001, followed by a string of successes.
The sixth launch on 29 November 2003, intended to launch two IGS reconnaissance satellites, failed. JAXA announced that launches would resume in 2005, and the first successful flight took place on 26 February 2005 with the launch of MTSAT-1R.
The first launch for a mission beyond Earth orbit was on 14 September 2007 for the SELENE Moon mission. The first foreign payload on the H-IIA was the Australian FedSat-1 in 2002. As of March 2015, 27 out of 28 launches were successful.
A rocket with increased launch capabilities, H-IIB, is a derivative of the H-IIA family. H-IIB uses two LE-7A engines in its first stage, as opposed to one in H-IIA. The first H-IIB was successfully launched on 10 September 2009.
|TF1||29 August 2001
|H2A 202|| VEP 2
|TF2||4 February 2002
|H2A 2024|| VEP 3
|F3||10 September 2002
|H2A 2024|| USERS
|F4||14 December 2002
|H2A 202|| ADEOS 2 (Midori 2)
Micro LabSat 1
|F5||28 March 2003
|H2A 2024|| IGS-Optical 1
|F6||29 November 2003
|H2A 2024|| IGS-Optical
|A hot gas leak from SRB-A motor destroyed its separation system and the booster did not separate as planned. The weight of the spent motor prevented the vehicle from achieving its planned speed and height and it was destroyed via a ground command about 10 minutes into the flight.|
|F7||26 February 2005
|H2A 2022||MTSAT-1R (Himawari 6)||Success|
|F8||24 January 2006
|H2A 2022||ALOS (Daichi)||Success|
|F9||18 February 2006
|H2A 2024||MTSAT-2 (Himawari 7)||Success|
|F10||11 September 2006
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 2||Success|
|F11||18 December 2006
|H2A 204||ETS-VIII (Kiku 8)||Success|
|F12||24 February 2007
|H2A 2024|| IGS-Radar 2
|F13||14 September 2007
|H2A 2022||SELENE (Kaguya)||Success|
|F14||23 February 2008
|H2A 2024||WINDS (Kizuna)||Success|
|F15||23 January 2009
|H2A 202|| GOSAT (Ibuki)
Sohla-1 (Maido 1)
|F16||28 November 2009
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 3||Success|
|F17||20 May 2010
|H2A 202 || PLANET-C (Akatsuki)
|F18||11 September 2010
|H2A 202||QZS-1 (Michibiki)||Success|
|F19||23 September 2011
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 4||Success|
|F20||12 December 2011
|H2A 202||IGS-Radar 3||Success|
|F21||17 May 2012
|H2A 202 || GCOM-W1 (Shizuku)
KOMPSAT-3 (Arirang 3)
|F22||27 January 2013
|H2A 202|| IGS-Radar 4
|F23||27 February 2014
|H2A 202|| GPM-Core
|F24||24 May 2014
|H2A 202|| ALOS-2 (Daichi 2)
|F25||7 October 2014
|H2A 202||Himawari 8||Success|
|F26||3 December 2014
|H2A 202|| Hayabusa2
|F27||1 February 2015
|H2A 202||IGS-Radar Spare||Success|
|F28||26 March 2015
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 5||Success|
|F29||24 November 2015
|H2A 204||Telstar 12 Vantage||Success|
|F30||17 February 2016
|H2A 202|| ASTRO-H (Hitomi)
ChubuSat-2 (Kinshachi 2)
ChubuSat-3 (Kinshachi 3)
|The Hitomi telescope broke apart 37 days after launch.|
|F31||2 November 2016
|H2A 202||Himawari 9||Success|
|F32||24 January 2017
|H2A 204||DSN-2 (Kirameki 2)||Success|
|F33||17 March 2017
|H2A 202||IGS-Radar 5||Success|
|F34||1 June 2017
|H2A 202||QZS-2 (Michibiki 2)||Success|
|F35||19 August 2017
|H2A 204||QZS-3 (Michibiki 3)||Success|
|F36||9 October 2017
|H2A 202||QZS-4 (Michibiki 4)||Success|
|F37||23 December 2017
|H2A 202|| GCOM-C (Shikisai)
|F38||27 February 2018
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 6||Success|
|F39||12 June 2018
|H2A 202||IGS-Radar 6||Success|
|F40||29 October 2018
|H2A 202|| GOSAT-2 (Ibuki-2)
|F41||9 February 2020
|H2A 202||IGS-Optical 7||Success|
|F42||19 July 2020
|H2A 202||Emirates Mars Mission (Hope)||Success|
|F43||29 November 2020
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