Font Size Change
Easy Web Browsing tool

Small Rocket “SS-520 No.5” to be Launched

Concerning a small rocket called “SS-520 No.5,” a project successfully developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) based on a commission by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Japan decided to launch the rocket on February 3 (Sat.), 2018, from a JAXA Uchinoura Space Center launch site.

1. Circumstances

Expecting an increase in demand for microsatellites, METI has been engaging in a Research and Development Project for Improvement of Technical Information Infrastructures for the Space Industry (On-orbit Demonstration of Space Equipment Making Use of Commercial Products). This project aims to develop small rockets, microsatellites and other space vehicles with price competitiveness in which Japan’s commercial parts and technologies are utilized.

As part of the project, JAXA initially scheduled to launch the SS-520 No.5 in December 2017. However, a defect was found in a part built in the rocket during the inspection at the launch site. Therefore, the launching of the rocket was postponed, and investigation to determine the cause had been conducted and countermeasures had been undertaken.

METI hereby announces that the countermeasures had been completed and that the launch date of the rocket is scheduled on February 3 (Sat.), 2018, from JAXA Uchinoura Space Center launch site.

The SS-520 No.5 will be launched with a built-in microsatellite called “TRICOM-1R,” an achievement developed by the University of Tokyo as another effort under the project.

2. Schedule of the launching (tentative)

Date and time:February 3 (Sat.), 2017;from 14:00 to 14:20 (Japan standard time)
Note:Reserved launch period:From February 4 (Sun.) to 12 (Mon.), 2018
Site:JAXA Uchinoura Space Center (1791-13, Minamikata, Kimotsukicho, Kimotsukigun, Kagoshima Prefecture)

[Outline of the major specifications of the SS-520 No.5]

photo1Length:9.54 m
Diameter:0.52m (representative section)
Total weight:2.6 tons
Propellant:Solid propellant
Stage structure:Three-stage type
Launching ability:Over 4kg to low earth orbit
Launching site:JAXA Uchinoura Space Center
Launching style:Rail launcher-sliding style (suspended style)
Note:The photo shows the SS5-520 No.4 rocket.

[Outline of the major specifications of TRICOM-1R]

photo2 General name:Microsatellite
Size:116m x 116m x 346 mm (excluding the antenna section)
Mass:About 3kg
Orbit:Elliptic orbit of 180 km perigee x 1,500 km apogee
Angle of inclination:31 degrees
This satellite aims to complete [i] a mission to collect data sent from the terminal on earth while in orbit and transfer data to the station according to the command at the time when it is situated above the control station, [ii] a mission to shoot photos of the earth using a built-in camera, and [iii] a prompt observation mission in which the satellite autonomously shoots photos of the earth immediately after being launched and settling into orbit and sends observatory data to earth during the first communication with the station back on earth.


Release date

January 19, 2018

Division in Charge

Space Industry Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
Copyright Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. All Rights Reserved.