H-II - Background

Background

Prior to H-II, NASDA had to use components licensed by the United States in its rockets. In particular, crucial technologies of the H-I and its predecessors were from the Delta rockets. The H-I did have domestically produced components, such as the LE-5 engine on the second stage and the inertial guidance system. H-II added to this by domestically developing the LE-7 liquid-fuel engine of the first stage and the solid booster rockets.

The H-II was developed under the following policies, according to a NASDA press release:

  1. Develop the launch vehicle with Japanese space technology.
  2. Reduce both development period and costs by utilizing developed technologies as much as possible.
  3. Develop a vehicle which can be launched from the existing Tanegashima Space Center.
  4. Use design criteria which allows sufficient performance for both the main systems and subsystems. Ensure that development will be carried out properly, and safety is taken into account.

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