Why do we need to develop a new flagship launch vehicle now?
As utilization of space is now imperative in various areas, such as using satellite data for our daily lives, it is important to secure the independent space transportation capability without relying on other countries to launch a satellite. Accordingly, the Japanese government also stipulates an autonomous space launch capacity as a basic space policy. The current flagship launch vehicle, H-IIA, is based on the conventional design concept of its predecessor, H-II, thus the H-IIA launch system applied many of the facilities built for the H-II. In other words, they are aging at over 30 years old since the H-II days, and they became so old that their maintenance costs are increasing year on year. In addition, no new launch vehicle development project has been conducted for about 15 years after the H-IIA development, hence skilled engineers who were involved in the actual development are graying. If we left this situation unattended, Japan will face difficulty to maintain our development and launch capability of launch vehicles in the future. Although our flagship launch vehicle technology is highly regarded, we need to lower the launch costs in order to procure commercial satellite launch demand from overseas in addition to our country’s government satellites.. We have to renovate the overall launch system and develop a new flagship launch vehicle with high competitiveness for overcoming the above challenges and making it sustainable.“ Continue reading „Das nötigt mir Respekt ab“→