Spaceflight Now Home

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

John Glenn Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!

Celebrate the shuttle program

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!

Anniversary Shuttle Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.

Mercury anniversary

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.

Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.



© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.