Japan aborts H3 ‘flagship’ rocket


Japan’s space programme has suffered a major setback after a mission involving its ‘flagship’ H-3 rocket had to be aborted.

Designs feature two or three first-stage engines (LE-9), and zero, two or four solid rocket boosters (SRB-3) to deal with various payload sizes and orbits. Depending on the version, it can carry a payload of at least 4,000kg.

H3’s second stage is powered by the LE-5B-3 engine, which is an upgraded version of the LE-5B-2 motor used on the H-IIA and H-IIB launch vehicles. The engine is powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

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