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The Mission

Rocket: H-2A
Payload: GCOM W1 & KOMPSAT 3
Date: May 17, 2012
Window: 1639-1642 GMT (12:39-12:42 p.m. EDT)
Site: Launch Pad 1, Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima, Japan

Mission Status Center

Launch timeline

Flight ground track

H-2A rocket diagram

Shizuku overview (.pdf)

H-2A launch timeline
Posted: May 16, 2012

T-00:00 Liftoff
With its LE-7A main engine and two solid rocket boosters firing, the 187-foot-tall H-2A rocket lifts off from the Yoshinobu launch complex on Tanegashima Island. A few moments later, the rocket will complete a pitch program to head south from the launch site.
T+01:55 SRB-A Burnout
The H-2A's two solid rocket boosters exhaust their propellant and burn out at an altitude of 31 miles.
T+02:05 SRB-A Separation
The two solid rocket boosters are jettisoned.
T+04:10 Fairing Separation
After traversing the dense lower atmosphere and reaching an altitude of 91 miles, the rocket releases the 4-meter (13.1-foot) diameter payload fairing protecting the spacecraft during the early part of the flight.
T+06:36 Main Engine Cutoff
After consuming its liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, the LE-7A first stage main engine shuts down. The first stage and solid rocket boosters push the rocket to a velocity of more than 8,000 mph.
T+06:44 Stage Separation
The H-2A rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean downrange from Tanegashima.
T+06:50 Second Stage Ignition
With the first stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The LE-5B hydrogen-fueled engine ignites at an altitude of 200 miles to accelerate the payloads to orbital velocity.
T+15:26 Second Stage Cutoff
The LE-5B second stage engine shuts down after reaching its specified orbital targets at an altitude of 420 miles and an inclination of 98 degrees.
T+16:16 KOMPSAT 3 Separation
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute's 1,763-pound KOMPSAT 3 high-resolution electro-optical Earth observation satellite is deployed from the upper position on the H-2A rocket's dual-payload adapter.
T+19:21 Lower Fairing/Adapter Separation
The adapter which connected the launcher to KOMPSAT 3 is jettisoned, followed five seconds later by the cylinder containing the GCOM W1 satellite and the mission's two secondary payloads.
T+23:11 GCOM W1 Separation
JAXA's 4,389-pound GCOM W1, or Shizuku, satellite is deployed from the H-2A rocket.
T+33:20 SDS 4 Separation
JAXA's 110-pound SDS 4 demonstration satellite is released from the H-2A upper stage.
T+50:00 Horyu 2 Separation
Built by students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Fukuoka, Japan, the Horyu 2 satellite separates from the H-2A rocket.

Data source: JAXA

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