Encyclopedia Astronautica
S-520


Japanese sounding rocket. The S-520 was a larger single-stage rocket which could be equipped with a three-axis attitude control and a recovery system. It had the capability of launching a 100 kg payload above 300 km and provided more than five minutes of micro-gravity flight for experiments.

The S-520 was developed to replace the K-9M and K-10 type sounding rockets, and succeeded in doubling the payload capability of the K-9M by applying high-performance propellant, an optimum thrust program and a lightweight structure. The thrust program and stabilization strategy of the earlier S-310 was adopted, which had delivered stable flight performance since its first flight early in 1980.

The S-520 offered simplified flight operations since staging was eliminated, reduction of impact-related maritime safety, and reduction of launch cost.

The HTPB composite propellant grain was cast and molded in the case in the same way as the first stage of Mu launch vehicles. The single propellant grain provided a dual-thrust profile similar to the S-310's. The forward portion of the grain had a seven pointed gear configuration, resulting in an initial period of high thrust, while the aft portion of the grain had a simple tubular design for a sustained lower level thrust period. The nozzle's expansion ratio of 8:1 was designed to improve the effective specific impulse. The chamber was made of high tensile steel HT-140. For weight saving and heat resistance, the leading edges of the tail fins were made of titanium alloy and their body was an aluminum honeycomb sandwich plate with composite laminated surface plates.

Scientific instruments were stored inside a composite nose fairing, and common instruments just below. As an option, an attitude control module or recovery module could be installed between the common instruments and the rocket motor.

The fourth flight carried out payload retrieval, and the third flight, launched later than the fourth, performed attitude control of the nose by a hydrazine side jet system. The attitude outside the atmosphere normally was stabilized by a 2.2 deg/sec spin induced by the canted tail fins of the first stage. In this mission the last stage was despun using a yo-yo system.

Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1995-09-17. Last Fail Date: 1995-09-17.

Status: Retired 1998.
Gross mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb).
Height: 9.00 m (29.50 ft).
Diameter: 0.52 m (1.70 ft).
Thrust: 143.00 kN (32,147 lbf).
Apogee: 430 km (260 mi).
First Launch: 1980.01.18.
Last Launch: 2010.08.30.
Number: 25 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • S Series of Japanese single-stage sounding rockets designed for low-cost observations of the ionosphere. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Nissan Japanese manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. Nissan, Japan. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kagoshima Japanese launch center for solid fueled sounding rockets and satellite launchers. Limited to two months a year due to disturbance of local fisheries. More...
  • Andoya Andoya Rocket Range (ARR) is the world's northernmost permanent launch facility for sounding rockets and scientific balloons and is responsible for all scientific-related balloon and rocket operations in Norwegian territory. ARR provides complete services for launch, operations, data acquisition, recovery and ground instrumentation support. The range has conducted more than 650 rocket launches and hosted scientists and engineers from more than 70 institutes and universities. More...

Associated Stages
  • SS-520-1 Solid rocket stage. 143.10 kN (32,170 lbf) thrust. Mass 2,300 kg (5,071 lb). More...

S-520 Chronology


1980 January 18 - . 06:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-1.
  • Heat Pipe Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 329 km (204 mi).

1981 January 29 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-2.
  • TPE-2 Ionosphere / tether mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 323 km (200 mi).

1981 September 5 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-4.
  • Payload recovery rest / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 224 km (139 mi).

1982 February 14 - . 10:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-3.
  • 0.3m telescope test Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 266 km (165 mi).

1982 September 6 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-5.
  • 0.1m telescope Solar extreme ultraviolet mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 237 km (147 mi).

1983 August 29 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-6.
  • MINIX Plasma physics mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 238 km (147 mi).

1985 February 11 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-7.
  • Aeronomy / ionosphere mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 362 km (224 mi).

1987 January 15 - . 08:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-9.
  • E field Ionosphere / aeronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 365 km (226 mi).

1987 February 21 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-8.
  • GUV Ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 286 km (177 mi).

1989 September 4 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-10.
  • CIR Cosmic infrared Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 288 km (178 mi).

1990 February 21 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-11.
  • CIR Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 317 km (196 mi).

1990 February 26 - . 02:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-12.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 369 km (229 mi).

1991 February 12 - . 03:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-14.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 353 km (219 mi).

1991 February 16 - . 13:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-13.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Telescopes Extreme ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi).

1992 February 1 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-15.
  • CIR Infrared astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 338 km (210 mi).

1993 February 18 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-16.
  • METS Ionosphere / active plasma mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 272 km (169 mi).

1994 December 1 - . 21:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Andoya. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-21.
  • Auroral mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 344 km (213 mi).

1995 January 23 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-17.
  • Submillimeter radio astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 346 km (214 mi).

1995 January 28 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-19.
  • Extreme ultraviolet Telescopes Extreme ultraviolet astronomy mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 330 km (200 mi).

1995 September 17 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-20. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Lunar Penetrator test technology mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1997 January 30 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-18.
  • Lunar Penetrator test technology mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi).

1998 January 31 - . 04:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kagoshima. Launch Complex: Kagoshima L. Launch Pad: K. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520-22.
  • SOLAR-B XDT Solar x-ray / ultraviolet mission - . Nation: Japan. Agency: ISAS. Apogee: 270 km (160 mi).

2007 September 2 - . 10:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Uchinoura. Launch Complex: Uchinoura LCK. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520 S-520-23.
  • WIND - . Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Apogee: 300 km (180 mi).

2008 August 2 - . 08:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Uchinoura. Launch Complex: Uchinoura LCK. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520. LV Configuration: S-520 S-520-24.
  • Microgravity - . Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Apogee: 293 km (182 mi).

2010 August 30 - . 20:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Uchinoura. LV Family: S. Launch Vehicle: S-520.
  • S-520-25 - . Nation: Japan. Agency: JAXA. Apogee: 309 km (192 mi). T-REX Tether Technology Rocket Experiment. The 580 kg payload consisted of three parts: 'mother' and 'daughter' spacecraft connected by a 300-meter-long electrodynamic tether; and the small Tethered Space Robot connected to the daughter. Fell into Pacific Ocean after a ten-minute zero-G flight.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use