Yoshinobu Launch Complex
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Full view of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex during roll out of the H-IIA rocket in February 2014
The Yoshinobu Launch Complex, also known as Launch Area Y, Area Y or LA-Y, 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.
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. 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. Prior to launch, rockets are processed vertically in the complex's vehicle assembly building. 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.
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