JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched – at the second attempt – to maiden launch of the H3 launch vehicle at 01:37 UTC Tuesday. However, the vehicle failed shortly after staging, via an apparent failure to light the second stage that was set to deploy the ALOS-3 optical satellite into a 669-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).
Controllers at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan opted to activate the vehicle’s Flight Termination System (FTS) to destroy the stage after it was clear the mission would be unable to complete its mission.
During the first launch attempt on Feb. 17, an abort was called at T0 when the main engine shut down before the Solid Rocket Boosters were to ignite. The abort was found to have been caused by a voltage transient within the controller on the rocket’s first stage, and teams have corrected the issue ahead of Tuesday’s attempt. Details on the second stage failure during the second attempt were not immediately available.