Yoshinobu Launch Complex

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Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission (12812960063).jpg
Full view of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex during roll out of the H-IIA rocket in February 2014
Launch siteTanegashima
OperatorNASDA (former)
Total launches49
Launch pad(s)2
Pad 1 (LA-Y1) launch history
First launch3 February 1994
Last launch23 December 2017
H-IIA (active)
Pad 2 (LA-Y2) launch history
First launch10 September 2009
Last launch9 December 2016
H-IIB (active)

Coordinates: 30°24′08″N 130°58′30″E / 30.40222°N 130.97500°E / 30.40222; 130.97500

The Yoshinobu Launch Complex,[1][2] also known as Launch Area Y, Area Y or LA-Y,[citation needed] is a launch complex at the Tanegashima Space Centre, located on Tanegashima, the Japanese island located 115 km south of Kyūshū. The complex is used for the H-II and H-IIA carrier rockets. The complex is also used by the H-IIB, which was first launched on 10 September 2009. That flight launched the HTV-1 spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station.[3]

It is the most Northern launch complex at Tanegashima, and along with the now inactive Osaki Launch Complex, it is part of the Osaki Range, used for orbital launches. The Yoshinobu complex consists of two launch pads, however launches have only been conducted from pad 1, which was built around 1993 for the H-II programme.[4] The second pad was completed around 2000, shortly after the H-II was retired in favour of the H-IIA, but is yet to be used for a launch. The complex also contains a test stand for firing the LE-7 engines used in the first stage of the H-II and its derivatives.[2] Prior to launch, rockets are processed vertically in the complex's vehicle assembly building.[5] The rocket is rolled out to the launch pad on a mobile launch platform about twelve hours before it is scheduled to launch. It takes around thirty minutes to transport the rocket from the assembly building to Pad 1.[6]

Launch of an H-IIA with Kaguya from pad 1. Pad 2 is visible on the right.


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Tanegashima". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC)". JAXA. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Japan's space freighter in orbit". Jonathan Amos. BBC. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Launch Site Facilities". H-IIA Launch Services. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  5. ^ "Launch Preparation Report". H-IIA Launch Services Flight 15. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Countdown Report". H-IIA Launch Vehicle 14. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009.