Japan’s Himawari 9 weather satellite will ride into space atop an H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center and reach a preliminary geostationary transfer orbit within 28 minutes of liftoff.
The 7,700-pound (3,500-kilogram) satellite will blast off from Launch Pad No. 1 at the Yoshinobu launch complex at Tanegashina Space Center, a picturesque spaceport carved on the southern edge of Tanegashima Island in southern Japan.
The H-2A rocket carrying Himawari 8 will head east over the Pacific Ocean, dropping its two solid-fueled boosters, nose cone, and a cryogenic core stage in the sea before its upper stage delivers the weather observatory to an orbit stretching more than 22,000 miles above Earth.
A list of the major events during the launch, set for 0620 GMT (2:20 a.m. EDT) Wednesday, is provided below.