A design flaw in a Russian Fregat upper stage was responsible for the botched orbital injection of two European Galileo navigation satellites in August, causing hydrazine fuel to freeze inside the rocket’s maneuvering system and rendering it unable to point in the right direction during a critical engine burn.
A Japanese weather satellite launched Tuesday aboard an H-2A rocket, beginning a mission to monitor tropical cyclones and storm systems over East Asia and the Western Pacific. The H-2A rocket lifted off at 0516 GMT (1:16 a.m. EDT) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan. The launch occurred at 2:16 p.m. local time. The photos below were released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the manufacturer and commercial operator of the H-2A rocket. Some of the images are video stills from cameras mounted on-board the H-2A rocket, showing separation of the launcher’s twin solid rocket boosters, payload fairing, and first stage, then deployment of the Himawari 8 satellite in orbit.