Japan’s Orbital Launch Vehicles 2022

Н-IIA (H-2A)

H-IIA is an expendable medium-lift 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-IlA first flew in 2001. As of December 2021, H-IlA rockets were launched 45 times, including 39 consecutive missions without a failure, dating back to 29 November 2003.


The H3 Launch Vehicle is an expendable launch system in development in Japan. H3 launch vehicles are liquid-propellant rockets with strap-on solid rocket boosters and are planned to be launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and JAXA are responsible for the design, manufacture, and operation of the H3.

The minimum configuration is to carry a payload of up to 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) into Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) for about 5 billion yen, and the maximum configuration is to carry more than 6,500 kg (14,300 lb) into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

The first H3 is planned to be launched in 2022 or later.


The Epsilon launch vehicle is an expendable small lift solid-fuel rocket designed to launch scientific satellites. It is capable of placing a 590 kg payload into Sun-synchronous orbit. The Epsilon costs US$38 million per launch.

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