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SS-520 [ISAS]

SS-520 (3 stg) (TRICOM 1) [ISAS]

The SS-520 is a two-stage rocket, the first stage of which comes from the main booster of the S-520. It has a capability for launching a 140 kg payload to an altitude of about 800 km.

The SS-520 aims at reaching 800 km altitude, and at the same time, carrying out technological experiments concerning the development of a mini-satellite launch vehicle by adding the third stage atop. The first stage is stabilized aerodynamically by use of tail fins like the S-520.

As the second stage is heavier than the head of S-520, the aerodynamic margin is secured more than ever. The whole motor case of the second stage is made of CFRP. The spin generated in the first stage is succeeded by the second stage, and it is utilized in the Rhumb-line control and spin stabilization.

The SS-520 debuted in January 1998 from Kagoshima, and ISAS also flew it from Svalbard, Spitsbergen, Norway, to send a payload into the cusp region of the geomagnetosphere.

The fourth vehicle, SS-520-4, has been modified with an small third stage to create a modest picosat launcher, which can put a 4 kg 3U CubeSat into a 180 km × 1500 km orbit with an inlination of 31. It is a technology demonstration with so serial production planned. The mission failed due to a burned-through cable chanel. A repeat of the failed mission, SS-520-5 has successfully been launched in February 2018. It was apparently partially funded by the industry, possibly Canon Electronics, who builds the avionics.

Launch Vehicle Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
SS-520 S-520 ? -
SS-520 (3 stage) (SSS-520) S-520 ? ?
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
SS-520 (3 stage) (SSS-520) ~4 - - - - -
Nr  TypeNr  Vehicle         Serial      Date          LS        Suc    Payload     

23     1    SS-520           SS-520-1    05.02.1998    Ka LP-KS  *      ENA/EPS/LAP
24     2    SS-520           SS-520-2    04.12.2000    Sva       *      Ion Outflow
33     1    SS-520 (3 stg)   SS-520-4    14.01.2017    Ka LP-KS   F     TRICOM 1
34     2    SS-520 (3 stg)   SS-520-5    03.02.2018    Ka LP-KS         TRICOM 1R
36     3    SS-520           SS-520-3    04.11.2021    Sva       *      Ion Outflow

Launch sites:

Ka  = Kagoshima Space Center / Uchinoura Space Center, Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan Japan
Sva = Svalbard Rocket Range (SvalRak), Ny Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway Norway


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