Kawasaki Delivers Fairing for H-IIA F15 Launch Vehicle

Aug. 26, 2008

Kawasaki Delivers Fairing for H-IIA F15 Launch Vehicle

Tokyo, August 26, 2008 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has shipped a payload fairing (PLF*1)for the H-IIA No.15 (H-IIA F15) launch vehicle to the Tanegashima Space Center. Kawasaki designed and manufactured the PLF at its Gifu Works before assembling and shipping it from its Harima Works. At Tanegashima, the PLF will be delivered to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., the launching company. The H-IIA F15 is scheduled for launch this winter.

The PLF is 4 m in diameter with a single launch configuration (4S), which protects a large satellite like those carried by the U.S. space shuttle or the European Ariane V. The H-IIA F15 will carry the GOSAT*2, a joint project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Ministry of the Environment. It will also carry seven smaller satellites, one built by JAXA and six by universities and companies that JAXA has designated and solicited publicly.

Kawasaki has developed and manufactured a variety of PLFs for H-IIA launch vehicles to meet a wide range of launch needs, including the launch of a large satellite or the simultaneous launch of two satellites.

*1: A payload fairing is an enclosure installed at the tip of a launch vehicle to protect the satellite from aerodynamic heating, acoustic noise and vibration during liftoff. After the launch vehicle leaves the earth’s atmosphere, the fairing splits in two and is jettisoned, allowing the satellite to separate from the launch vehicle.

*2: GOSAT (Greenhouse gases Observing Satellite) is a satellite that observes the distributions of greenhouse gas concentrations from space. The GOSAT project’s mission is to produce more accurate estimates of the flux of greenhouse gases on a subcontinental basis, and to support such environmental administration efforts as estimating the amount of greenhouse gases absorbed/released in each region and evaluating the carbon balance in forests.