Japan Launches JDRS-1 Data Relay Satellite Abroad H-IIA Launch Vehicle

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Launch Services launched JDRS-1 joint military and civilian data relay satellite abroad an H-IIA rocket.

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 43 lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 16:25 on Sunday, Nov. 29.

MHI Launch Services, later in a statement, confirmed the separation of satellite successfully concluding the mission.

JDRS-1 (Japanese Data Relay Satellite-1) is a geostationary data relay satellite equipped with both military and civilian payloads. The military optical data relay payload will be used to relay data collected by Japan’s IGS (Information Gathering Satellite) spy satellites while the civilian payload will replace the KODAMA Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) launched in 2002.

The JDRS-1 mission marked the 43rd flight of H-IIA, Japan’s primary large-scale launch vehicle operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). H-IIA launch service operations have been transferred to MHI ahead of the launch of H-IIA Flight 13. JAXA is in charge of launch safety management (including ground safety confirmation, flight safety assurance, and overall countdown control and supervision.)

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