Featured image credit: Kyodo
Lift Off Time
|October 12, 2022 – 00:50:43 UTC | 09:50:43 JST|
|RAISE-3 & others, Epsilon Flight #6|
|IHI Aerospace Co. Ltd (IA)|
|– Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)|
– Institute for Q-Shu Pioneers of Space Inc. (iQPS) (for QPS-SAR-3 and 4)
|Epsilon S Launch Vehicle|
|Uchinoura Space Center, Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan|
|~280 kg (~620 lbs)|
Where were the satellites going?
|Low Earth Orbit (LEO)|
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
Where did the first stage land?
|It crashed into the South China Sea|
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
Were these fairings new?
This was the:
|– 1st orbital launch attempt for Japan in 2022|
– 6th flight of an Epsilon rocket
– 2nd flight of the Epsilon PBS variant
– 135th orbital launch attempt in 2022
Where to watch
|Launch replay (English commentary)|
How Did It Go?
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched RAISE-3 and seven other payloads onboard an Epsilon rocket. A set of five CubeSats flew alongside the main payload.
Unfortunately, the launch was not successful. Preliminary information suggests that the flight was aborted via the Flight Termination System (FTS) prior to the separation of the 2nd and 3rd stages. The ignition of the 3rd stage did not occur on time. The 2nd stage appeared to burn out at the expected time, however.
During a JAXA press conference after the failure, it was stated that the vehicle had deviated from the correct attitude for stage separation. This has not been officially confirmed by JAXA however, who are still looking at the telemetry. The command to terminate the flight was sent from the ground at T + 6 min 28 seconds into the mission, 6 seconds prior to 3rd stage ignition time. This was 9:57:11 local time. Telemetry available on live streams appeared to cease at this time.
The primary payload for this flight was an on-orbit demonstration mission. It formed part of the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program which has been running since 2015. This was a 100 kg-class satellite that would have provided hosting for seven demonstration missions that were integrated onto the main RAISE-3 satellite. There is more information on this platform below.
|MAGNARO||10 x 10 x 34 cm|
|MITSUBA||10 x 10 x 23 cm|
|KOSEN-2||10 x 10 x 23 cm|
|WASEDA-SAT-ZERO||10 x 10 x 11 cm|
|FSI-SAT||10 x 10 x 11 cm|
RAISE-3 & Others Mission
RAISE-3 (RApid Innovative payload demonstration SatellitE-3)
|Mission||Component Name||Organization||Objectives (summary)|
|On-Orbit Demonstration of 920 MHz band Satellite IoT Platform using Satellite MIMO Technology||LEOMI||Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)||On-orbit demonstration of Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) telecommunication technology|
|Software Receiver using Flexible Development Method||SDRX||NEC Space Technologies, Ltd.||On-orbit demonstration of a high-speed flexible software receiver using a signal processing board with COTS parts|
|On-Orbit Evaluation of Commercial GPU and its Model-based Development||GEMINI||Mitsubishi Electric|
|On-orbit evaluation of commercial GPU enabling ultra-high speed computation.|
|On-Orbit Demonstration of Micropropulsion System using Water Propellant||KIR||PaleBlue Inc.||On-orbit demonstration of micro-propulsion system using water as propellant.|
|On-Orbit Demonstration and Performance Evaluation of PulsePlasma Thruster for Micro-satellite||TMU-PPT||Advanced|
|On-orbit demonstration of Pulse-Plasma Thruster, enabling low-power and low-cost small propulsion system using solid|
|On-Orbit Demonstration of|
Deployable Membrane Deorbit
Mechanism for Micro-satellite
|D-SAIL||Axelspace Corporation||On-orbit demonstration of deployable membrane structure, aiming to increase atmospheric drag and orbital decay rate.|
|On-Orbit Demonstration of Lightweight Deployable Membrane|
Structure with Power Generation and Antenna Function for Society 5.0
|HELIOS||Sakase Adtech Co., Ltd.||On-orbit demonstration of lightweight deployable membrane structure with power generation and antenna function.|
The RAISE-3 platform was based on the previous RAISE-2 platform, with slightly modified specifications.
|Operational period||– 1 month for Commissioning Phase|
– 13 months for Nominal Operation Phase
|Orbit||– Sun-synchronous Orbit (initial)|
– Altitude: 560km (nominal)
– Inclination: 97.6deg (nominal)
– Local Time Descending Node: 9:30 am
|Launch||Planned in Fiscal Year 2022|
|Dimensions||Approximately 1 m x 0.75 m x 1 m|
|Mass||Less than 110 kg|
|Power generation||– More than 215W at BOL|
– More than 180W at EOL
(Average power generation during sunshine
|Communication||– S-band for telecommand: Uplink: 4kbps, Downlink: 64kbps|
– X-band for mission data and stored telemetry. Downlink: 16Mbps
|Attitude control||– 3-axis stabilized|
– Earth pointing for nominal attitude
|Available resources to mission payloads||– Mass: more than 23kg|
– Power: 105Wh (BOL) and 62Wh (EOL) over one orbit period
– Data volume: 926.7MB per day
– Payload mounting area: more than 2.5m2
This was a 3U sized package that splits into two satellites after deployment. One is 2U and the other is 1U in size. They are connected by magnetism until their separation. After separating, they would have maintained formation flying between 2 km to 500 km distance from each other. Amateur radio operators would then have been able to use these satellites as repeaters for long-range communication.
The satellites would have been deployed into a Sun-Synchronous orbit at 550 km altitude. The combined mass of the two satellites was 4.4 kg. The name is abbreviated from “MAGnetically separating NAno-satellite with Rotation for Orbit control”. The satellites were designed and built at Nagoya University.
This satellite was described as “On-orbit degradation observation of COTS semi conductor for adding value to COTS database and On orbit demonstration of general USB device.” It was built by the Kyushu Institute of Technology. The satellite has a mass of 1.7 kg.
This satellite’s main platform was 11 cm x 11 cm x 23 cm, with a YAGI-style directional antenna which would have extended after deployment. It was designed to study deformation of the Earth’s crust under the sea floor. It makes use of dual reaction wheels to maintain attitude control. It would have taken observations using a combination of fish-eye camera lenses and magnetic sensors. It was developed by a partnership between the National Institute of Technology (KOSEN), Yonago College, Gunma College, and other educational bodies.
This satellite was a technology demonstrator for 3D-printed satellites. Its aim was to have zero fixing screws, zero mechanical parts to be assembled together, and zero debris. This was achieved by 3D-printing the entire chassis as a single element.
It would have been used to conduct experiments regarding deployment of membrane surfaces which might be used as solar panels for power generation or solar sail for propulsion. It was designed at Waseda University. The total mass of the satellite was 1.2 kg.
This was a 1U-sized, low cost satellite that featured a multi-spectral camera and on-board data processing system. It was designed to demonstrate that this technology could be deployed and operated at this small scale and at low cost. The satellite had a mass of only 1.4 kg. It was built by the Future Science Institute.
QPS-SAR-3 and 4
QPS-SAR satellites were a set of small Earth observation satellites built by the QPS Institute (Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc.). They featured high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in the X-band portion of the radio spectrum. When fully populated, the constellation is expected to have 36 satellites in operation.
This pair of satellites were uprated in power generation and battery storage when compared with their predecessors, QPS-SAR 1 and 2, however those were prototypes. QPS-SAR 3 and 4 each had a 3.6 m diameter antenna (after deployment) which had a mass as low as 10 kg. It would have been able to resolve objects as small as 0.7 m (~2 feet) in size.
Epsilon is basically a three-stage vehicle using solid motors on all three stages, with an optional post-boost stage (PBS) which uses liquid monopropellant. This PBS, in use on this flight, is based on the monopropellant reaction control system used on the H-II (A/ B) rocket.
|Length||26 m / 85 ft|
|Diameter||2.6 m / 8.5 ft|
|Total Weight||96 t / 212,000 lbs|
|Burn time (s)||116||140||90||1100||N/A|
1 – Post Boost Stage
2 – Payload Fairing
3 – Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene
4 – Thrust Vector Control
5 – Solid Motor Side Jet
6 – Reaction Control System
Intended Flight Profile And Deployment Timeline
|Step||Description||Time (h m s)||Time (s)||Altitude (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|1||Lift off||00 00||0||0||0.4|
|2||1st stage shutdown||01 48||108||70||2.3|
|3||fairing jettison||02 31||151||115||2.1|
|4||1st stage separation||02 41||161||123||2.1|
|5||2nd stage ignition||02 45||165||126||2.1|
|6||2nd stage burnout||04 54||294||202||4.8|
|7||2nd stage separation||06 30||390||237||4.7|
|8||3rd stage ignition||06 34||394||237||4.7|
|9||3rd stage burnout||08 02||482||232||7.9|
|10||3rd stage separation||09 54||594||235||7.9|
|11||PBS 1st start||16 33||993||277||7.8|
|12||PBS 1st shutdown||17 44||1,064||288||7.8|
|13||PBS 2nd start||41 24||2,484||554||7.5|
|14||PBS 2nd shutdown||50 46||3,046||572||7.6|
|15||RAISE-3 deployment||52 35||3,156||570||7.6|
|16||MITSUBA & WASEDA-SAT-ZERO deployment||1 06 30||3,990||570||7.6|
|17||PBS 3rd start||1 08 11||4,091||572||7.6|
|18||PBS 3rd shutdown||1 08 26||4,106||572||7.6|
|19||QPS-SAR-3 deployment||1 09 43||4,183||574||7.6|
|20||MAGNARO deployment||1 10 06||4,206||574||7.6|
|21||QPS-SAR-4 deployment||1 11 19||4,279||575||7.6|
|22||KOSEN-2 & FSI-SAT deployment||1 11 42||4,302||576||7.6|