m. v. agrippa


The M-V rocket, also called M-5 or Mu-5, was a Japanese solid-fuel rocket designed to launch scientific satellites. It was a member of the Mu family of rockets. The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) began developing the M-V in 1990 at a cost of 15 billion yen. It has three stages and is 30.7 meters high, 2.5 meters in diameter, and weighs about 140 tonnes (310,000 pounds). It was capable of launching a satellite weighing 1.8 tonnes (2 short tons) into an orbit as high as 250 km (155 miles).

The first M-V rocket launched the HALCA radio astronomy satellite in 1997, and the second the Nozomi Mars explorer in July 1998. The third rocket attempted to launch the Astro-E X-ray satellite on February 10, 2000 but failed.

ISAS recovered from this setback and launched Hayabusa to 25143 Itokawa in 2003.

The following M-V launch was the scientific Astro-E2 satellite, a replacement for Astro-E, which took place on July 10, 2005.

The final launch was that of the Hinode (SOLAR-B) spacecraft, along with the SSSat microsat and a nanosatellite, HIT-SAT, on 22 September, 2006.

A next generation of M-V rockets was planned and developing, the "Advanced Solid Rocket", with lowering the hurdles to space.

National security

Solid fuel rockets are the design of choice for military applications as they can remain in storage for long periods, and then reliably launch at a moments notice.

Lawmakers made national security arguments for keeping Japan's solid-fuel rocket technology alive after ISAS was merged into the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which also has the H-IIA liquid-fuelled rocket. in 2003. The ISAS director of external affairs, Yasunori Matogawa, said, "It seems the hard-line national security proponents in parliament are increasing their influence, and they aren't getting much criticism…I think we’re moving into a very dangerous period. When you consider the current environment and the threat from North Korea, it’s scary.

The M-V design could be weaponised quickly although this would be politically difficult.

M-V flights

Date (UTC) Flight Payload Result
February 12 1997 04:50:00 M-V-1 Muses B (HALCA) Success
July 3 1998 18:12:00 M-V-3 Planet B (Nozomi) Success
February 10 2000 01:30:00 M-V-4 ASTRO-E Failure
May 9 2003 04:29:25 M-V-5 Muses C (Hayabusa) Success
July 10 2005 03:30:00 M-V-6 ASTRO-E2 (Suzaku) Success
February 21 2006 21:28:00 M-V-8 ASTRO-F (Akari)
SSP (solar sail sub payload)
SSP failed to open completely
September 22 2006 21:36 M-V-7 Solar-B (Hinode)
SSSAT(solar sail)
SSSat failed after launch


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