Signing of the “Basic Agreement” concerning the Epsilon S Launch Vehicle -IHI AEROSPACE satellite launch business-
-June 12, 2020-
IHI AEROSPACE CO., LTD (HQ: Tokyo, Japan, President: Takashi Makino, hereinafter, “IA”) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereinafter, “JAXA”) entered into the Basic Agreement on the Development of the Epsilon S Launch Vehicle (*1) (hereinafter, “Epsilon S”) and the Implementation of the Launch Service Business (*2) (hereinafter, the “Basic Agreement”)” on 11 June, 2020. Based on the Basic Agreement, IA, in cooperation with JAXA, will develop Epsilon S, and will provide launch services using Epsilon S all over the world.
The Epsilon Launch Vehicle is built upon solid-propellant rocket technology that Japan accumulated over more than 60 years since the early days of small experimental vehicle “Pencil Rocket”. During the first step, the Epsilon Launch Vehicle was developed by JAXA, and IA had played the key role of designing and manufacturing the rocket system. We contributed to all successful launches up to the fourth Epsilon Launch Vehicle and achieved high results. In the next step, IA in joint effort with JAXA will develop the Epsilon S based on the first step achievements, aiming at strengthening Epsilon’s international competitiveness by synergy effects from the H3 Launch Vehicle.
Last year, IA was designated as the prime contractor of rocket system for new Epsilon development and the private operator of launch service business using new Epsilon. After the designation, this new Epsilon project has been reviewed and judged as appropriate to move forward to start development, and named as “Epsilon S”. The Basic Agreement lays down fundamental matters such as the roles of JAXA and IA at the development and operational steps with an eye to establishing a framework to independently expand launch service business with the Epsilon S to commercial market, as well as to transforming the current space transportation system into an independent and sustainable business structure by maintaining and advancing the industrial basis.
In addition, JAXA has been awarded the launch contract of the Vietnamese Earth Observation satellite (LOTUSat-1) developed and manufactured by NEC. This launch will take place in 2023 with the Epsilon S demonstrator, which will be the first flight, and the first opportunity for launching overseas satellite by Epsilon series.
In recent years, as satellites getting smaller and the manufacturing cost getting lowered, satellite applications businesses are expanding. In response to this trend, we are expecting a bright forecast of increasing demands of satellite launches. IA will focus on development and launch service business activities worldwide aiming to expand the field of the space transportation.
(*1) Attachment 1：Outline of the Epsilon S Launch Vehicle (Documents provided by JAXA)（578.8KB）
(*2) Attachment 2：Outline of the Basic Agreement (Documents provided by JAXA)（326.8KB）
Press Release announced by JAXA: https://global.jaxa.jp/press/2020/06/20200612-1-2_e.html
[Basic Agreement Signing Ceremony (Documents Provided by JAXA)]
JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa and IA President Takashi Makino signed the Basic Agreement during the ceremony held at JAXA’s Tokyo Office on June 11, 2020.
| Signing the Basic Agreement©JAXA
(JAXA President Yamakawa (left), IA President Makino (right)
|The launch of the Epsilon-4 ⒸJAXA|