JAXA managed to deliver Michibiki-2 navigation satellite to orbit after flawless launch from Tanegashima Space Center.
Long for 53 m H-IIA rocket manufactured by MELCO was rolled out from assembling facility at Tanegashima Space Center yesterday at 10:00 GMT. After reaching launch pad and connecting fueling and ground control systems, service personnel was allowed to begun fueling procedure. Rocket (H-IIA F34) with two boosters attached was waiting for launch at Launch Complex 1 at Yoshinobu launch complex passing through all necessary tests before launch planned for 00:17 UTC. At 23:52 UTC rocket was already after slew check; fueling procedure was finished and ground control team was waiting for final confirmation of the launch.At T-20′ rocket was ready to flight with latest wind correction data already uploaded to guidance control system. At T-10′ rocket was switched to battery power.
Rocket was launched punctually at 00:18 UTC and speed of sound was reached at T+60. Before passing sound barrier rocket perform pitch and roll to set its course to East. Two minutes after start two boosters were separated and rocket jettisoned its payload fairing. At T+5′ second stage started engine and begun its first from two planned burns. At T+15′ rocket reached preliminary parking orbit and cut of its LE-5B engine. Next it performed second burn to reach correct orbit. Finally, Michibiki-2 was deployed at T+33′ on 250 km x 36140 km orbit inclined at 39.5 degree. It will reach correct orbit within following weeks.
QZS-2 (Quasi Zenith Satellite) known also as Michibiki-2 is navigation satellite designed specially to operate as part of the QZSS (Quasi Zenith Satellite System) navigation system providing signal for mountain regions and urban areas. It provides signal from inclined, elliptical geosynchronous orbits with optimal high-elevation visibility, crucial in the cities and mountains where high objects can interfere with normal signal. Michibiki-2 is compatible with GPS system-interoperable and augmentation signals as well as original Japanese (QZSS) signals from a three-spacecraft constellation. It is third satellite from QZSS series with first launched in 2010 and last planned for 2018.
Michibiki-2 was manufactured by MELCO (Mitsubishi Electric) with utilization of ETS-8 bus in DS-2000 configuration. It was equipped with onboard batteries and two deployable solar arrays. Satellite weighs 4 t and was equipped with R-4D hypergolic apogee kick motor manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Satellite will operate for at least 15 years from 32618 km x 38950 km orbit inclined at 41 degrees.