JAXA to Launch Vietnamese Satellite on Upgraded Epsilon S Launcher

Epsilon rocket on launch pad (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has signed a contract to launch the Earth observation satellite LOTUSat-1 for Vietnam developed and manufactured by NEC Corporation (NEC) on the Epsilon rocket from Uchinoura.

We have signed a contract with NEC for launching the the observatory. This launch is scheduled for 2023, and this is the first time that the Epsilon rocket has been commissioned to launch an overseas satellite payload.

The Epsilon S rocket project is underway.  LOTUSat-1 will be launched by the demonstration vehicle of this Epsilon S rocket project.

Epsilon S Rocket Overview

The Epsilon rocket is a rocket that brings together solid fuel rocket technology that Japan has accumulated over 60 years from the pencil rocket, and is positioned as a core rocket of Japan in the Basic Space Program (decided by the Cabinet on April 1, 2016). It is being done.

Based on the development results so far, we will demonstrate synergy effect with H3 rocket, which is a large liquid rocket currently under development, and reduce launch cost and high reliability of core rocket and improve satellite operability.

It is a rocket aimed at strengthening international competitiveness, and a small/micro satellite that is expected to grow in demand by building a system in which private companies will take the lead in launch service business We aim to make a full-scale entry into the launch market.

Epsilon S Overview

  • Launch capability SSO orbit:
    600 kg or more (altitude 350-700 km) (Extra target: 800 kg or more (altitude 350 km)) 
  • LEO orbit: 1,400 kg or more (altitude 500 km, orbit inclination angle 31.1 deg)
  • Ensure expandability for launching multiple satellites
  • Orbit input accuracy: Altitude error ±15 km or less, orbit inclination angle error ±0.15 deg or less
  • Satellite-mounted environment: World-class acoustic, vibration, and shock environment
  • Standard launch price: Competitive price range in the global small satellite launch market
  • Launch slot: 2 or more launches can be performed in 3 months
  • Period from contract to launch: within 12 months
  • Period from satellite reception to launch: within 10 days
  • Late access (access to onboard satellites before launch): Possible up to 3 hours before launch