N-I (rocket)

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The N-I rocket[1]
Function Carrier rocket
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas (design)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (production)
Country of origin United States (design)
Japan (production)
Height 34 metres (112 ft)[1]
Diameter 2.44 metres (8.0 ft)
Mass 131,330 kilograms (289,530 lb)[1]
Stages 2 or 3
Payload to LEO 1,200 kilograms (2,600 lb)[1]
Payload to GTO 360 kilograms (790 lb)[1]
Associated rockets
Family Delta
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites LA-N, Tanegashima
Total launches 7
Successes 6
Partial failures 1
First flight 9 September 1975
Last flight 3 September 1982
Boosters – Castor 2
No. boosters 3[2]
Engines 1 TX-354-3
Thrust 258.9 kilonewtons (58,200 lbf)
Specific impulse 262 sec
Burn time 37 seconds
Fuel Solid
First stage – Thor-ELT
Engines 1 MB-3-3
Thrust 866.7 kilonewtons (194,800 lbf)
Specific impulse 290 sec
Burn time 270 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Second stage
Engines 1 LE-3
Thrust 52.9 kilonewtons (11,900 lbf)
Specific impulse 290 sec
Burn time 246 seconds
Fuel NTO/A-50
Third stage (optional) – Star-37N
Engines 1 solid
Thrust 45 kilonewtons (10,000 lbf)
Specific impulse 290 sec
Burn time 42 seconds
Fuel Solid
Mock up of N-1

The N-I or N-1 was a derivative of the American Delta rocket, produced under licence in Japan. It used a Thor-ELT first stage, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-designed LE-3 engine was used as a second stage,[3][4][5] and three Castor SRMs.[2][6] Seven were launched between 1975 and 1982, before it was replaced by the N-II. Six of the seven launches were successful, however on the fifth flight, there was recontact between the satellite and the third stage, which caused the satellite to fail.

On 29 February 1976, the second N-I conducted the only orbital launch to occur on a leap day (as of year 2008).

Launch history[edit]

Date/Time (GMT) S/N Payload Orbit Remarks
9 September 1975, 05:30[7] 1(F) ETS-1 (JETS-1/Kiku-1) LEO
29 February 1976, 03:30[7] 2(F) ISS-1 (JISS-1/Ume-1) LEO
23 February 1977, 08:50[7] 3(F) ETS-2 (Kiku-2) GTO 3rd stage used
16 February 1978, 04:00[7] 4(F) ISS-2 (JISS-2/Ume-2) LEO
6 February 1979, 08:46[7] 5(F) ECS-A (Ayame-1) GTO 3rd stage used
Failure – Recontact between satellite and upper stage.
22 February 1980, 08:35[7] 6(F) ECS-B (Ayame-2) GTO 3rd stage used
3 September 1982, 05:00[7] 9(F) ETS-3 (Kiku-3) LEO

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wade, Mark. "Delta". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 3 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "JAXA Digital Archives". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Retrieved 1 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "N-Iロケット開発の歩み". Yukihiko Takenaka, NASDA. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "三菱重工 名古屋誘導推進システム製作所 事業所紹介 沿革". Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  5. ^ "第1部 創造性豊かな科学技術を求めて 第2章 自主技術開発への展開 第3節 先導的・基盤的科学技術分野における自主技術開発の展開 2.宇宙開発". Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "N-1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g McDowell, Jonathan. "Thor". Orbital and Suborbital Launch Database. Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 31 August 2008.