The H-II (H2) rocket was a Japanese satellite launch system, which flew seven times between 1994 and 1999, with five successes. It was developed by NASDA in order to give Japan a capability to launch larger satellites of the 1990s. It was the first rocket Japan made using only technologies developed domestically. It was superseded by the H-IIA following reliability and cost issues.
The H-II was developed under the following policies, according to a NASDA press release:
In 1994, NASDA succeeded in launching the first H-II rocket, and succeeded in five launches by 1997. However, each launch cost 19 billion yen (190 million USD), too expensive compared to international competitors like Ariane. (This is in part due to the changes in exchange rates, which was 240 yen to a dollar when the project planning started in 1982, but had changed to 100 yen a dollar by 1994.) Development of the next-generation H-IIA rockets started in order to minimize launch costs.
The successive failure of flight 5 in 1998 and flight 8 in the following year brought an end to the H-II series. To investigate the cause of the failure and to direct resources into the H-IIA, NASDA cancelled flight 7 (which was to be launched after F8 due to changes in schedule), and terminated the H-II series.
|TF1 (Test Flight)||February 4, 1994||Ryūsei||OREX (Orbital Re-entry Experiment)||LEO||Success|
|Myōjō||VEP (Vehicle Evaluation Payload)||GTO|
|TF2||August 28, 1994||Kiku 6||ETS-VI (Engineering Test Satellite-VI)||GEO||Success|
|TF3||March 18, 1995||Himawari 5||GMS-5 (Geostationary Meteorological Satellite-5)||GEO||Success|
|SFU (Space Flyer Unit)||LEO|
|F4||August 17, 1996||Midori||ADEOS (Advanced Earth Observing Satellite)||LEO||Success|
|Fuji 3||Fuji OSCAR 29, JAS-2||LEO|
|F6||November 27, 1997||TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission)||LEO||Success|
|Kiku 7 (Orihime & Hikoboshi)||ETS-VII (Engineering Test Satellite-VII)||LEO|
|F5||February 21, 1998||Kakehashi||COMETS (Communications and Broadcasting Engineering Test Satellites)||GEO||Failed to reach desired orbit|
|F8||November 15, 1999||MTSAT (Multi-functional Transport Satellite)||GEO||Engine malfunction, self-destructed|
|F7||Canceled||Midori II||ADEOS-II (Advanced Earth Observing Satellite II)||Canceled|