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Thermwood

Maiden Flight of Japan's H-IIA Launch Vehicle

07 September 2001

ATK rocket motor case and advanced composite material technologies supported the successful maiden launch today of Japan's new H-IIA space launch vehicle on Wednesday.

In a unique arrangement and in cooperation with IHI Aerospace Co., ATK Thiokol Propulsion Company designed the composite rocket motor case for the H-IIA vehicle's two ground-lit Solid-Rocket Boosters (SRB-As). The company also supplied graphite-epoxy, preimpregnated resin materials for use in constructing the case.

The H-IIA family of launch vehicles, which will comprise five separate vehicle configurations, is being developed under the direction and funding of the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). All five configurations will feature ATK's rocket motor case and composite technology.

The H-IIA vehicle configuration flown on the maiden flight has an LE-7A liquid engine in the core and two SRB-A motors, and is capable of placing payloads weighing up to four metric tons into orbit. The first vehicle did not have a satellite payload, but carried a three-ton weight to simulate future spacecraft loads and a mirrored ball to test for orbital insertion. NASDA's next flight of the H-IIA is scheduled for early 2002.






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