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Spacecraft Propulsion Products

IHI Aerospace is the leading manufacturer of propulsion systems in Japan
and has been developing and manufacturing spacecraft propulsion systems since 1964.
We offer monopropellant, cold-gas, bipropellant
and electric propulsion systems with flight qualified products for satellites and rockets.

Spacecraft Propulsion Systems

Our spacecraft propulsion systems have been used in a wide range of missions for over 40 years. IHI Aerospace has developed and built over 100 propulsion systems as well as its thrusters and tanks.
Our propulsion systems and sub-systems have been used for:

  • Orbit control and reaction control of spacecraft including H-II transfer vehicles (HTV)
  • Reaction control of launch vehicles
  • Control for re-entry capsules.

Bipropellant Propulsion Systems

IHI Aerospace developed and manufactured bipropellant propulsion systems with hydrazine N2H4 and mixed oxides of nitrogen MON3 since1980s. These systems have a bipropellant apogee engine and monopropellant thrusters for reaction control. We have also developed and manufactured bipropellant propulsion systems with mono methyl hydrazine MMH and MON3. The MMH/MON3 bipropellant propulsion system has been used for ETS-Ⅷ satellite and H-II Transfer Vehicles (HTV). The HTV propulsion system is equipped with four main thrusters and fully meets the safety requirements of the ISS.

Program Launch
Orbit Propellant
Load [kg]
UNAR-A cancelled Lunar orbit N2H4 :143
NTO: 49
500N main engine,
20N x 6, 1N x 4
ETS-VI(LAPS) 1994 GEO N2H4 : 910
NTO: 825
1700N main engine.
50N x 4
J-I EVE 1996 Launcher N2H4 : 126
NTO : 120
3600N main engine
COMETS(UPS) 1998 GEO N2H4 : 1030
MON3 : 840
1700N main engine.
50N x 4, 1N x 16
DRTS(UPS) 2002 GEO N2H4 : 973
MON3 : 641
500N LAE
20N x 8, 1N x 16
ETS-VIII(BPS) 2006 GEO MMH : 1120
MON3 : 1849
500N LAE
22N x 12
SELENE(UPS) 2007 Lunar orbit N2H4 : 960
MON3 : 355
500N LAE
20N x 12, 1N x 8
WINDS(UPS) 2007 GEO N2H4: 1460
MON3 : 1067
500N LAE
20N x 8, 4N x 16
HTV(BPS) 2009~2020 ISS orbit MMH : 918
MON3 : 1514
500N main engine x 4
120N x 28
HTV-X(BPS) - ISS orbit MMH : 981
MON3 : 1619
120N x 24
MMX(outbound)(BPS) - Martian moon N2H4: 916
MON3 : 858
450N x 4
MMX(inbound)(BPS) - Martian moon N2H4: 607
MON3 : 531
450N x 2
22N x 20
LAPS:Liquid Apogee Propulsion Stage / UPS: Unified Propulsion System / BPS: Bipropellant Propulsion System

Monopropellant Propulsion Systems

IHI Aerospace have developed and manufactured hydrazine propulsion systems since 1980s. We have continued to deliver a number of monopropellant systems for over 40 years A wide range of propellant tanks and thrusters developed by IA IHI Aerospace have been used on monopropellant propulsion systems.

Program Launch
Load [kg]
ETS-IV 1981 64 18N x 2
ETS-III 1982 18 1N x 12
MOS-1 1987 18 1N x 14
ETS-V 1987 113 20N x 2, 1N x 16
CS-3 series 1988 118 20N x 4
MOS-1b 1990 14 1N x 14
JERS-1 1992 115 1N x 22
ETS-VI 1994 115 1N x 16
ADEOS series 1996~ 170 20N x 4, 1N x 16
ETS-VII 1997 440 20N x 28, 1N x 12
Program Launch
Load [kg]
MDS-1 2002 24 1N x 4
OICETS 2005 40 1N x 8
ALOS 2006 170 4N x 4, 1N x 16
GOSAT 2008 115 20N x 4, 1N x 8
GCOM series 2012~ 260 4N x 12
ASNARO series 2014~ 40 4N x 4
Classified program - 283 4N x 8

Launch vehicle RCS

IHI Aerospace has developed reaction control systems (RCS) for launch vehicles for over 40 years. The RCS has been used on board H-I, H-II, H-II A and H-IIB rockets launch vehicles which were used as Japanese flagship launchers. IHI Aerospace has been developing low-pricing RCS for the H3 launch vehicle.

Program Launch
N-I 1975~1982 18N x 12
N-II 1981~1987 18N x 12
H-I 1986~1992 18N x 12
H-II 1994~1999 50N x8, 18N x 2
H-IIA 2001~ 50N x 8
H-IIB 2009~2020 50N x 8
Epsilon (PBS) 2013~ 50N x 8
H3 - 50N x 8
Microlauncher - 20N x 8

Cold gas

We have developed and manufactured cold gas propulsion systems for small satellites with lower ΔV and sounding rockets. The simplified system reduces costs related to handling, propellant loading and transportation. We have also developed a cold gas system with liquefied gas as propellant that reduces tank volume.

Program Launch
Propellant Thruster
HYFLEX 1996 GN2 40N x 6
ETS-Vll 1997 GN2 20N x 28, 1N x 12
DASH 2002 GN2 1N x 1
IKAROS 2010 HFC-134a 1N x 8
SS-520 series 1998~ GN2 23N x 1~4

Bipropellant Thrusters

IHI Aerospace has manufactured and delivered over 350 bipropellant thrusters for spacecraft since the start of development in the 1980s. We have developed 450N thrusters and 22N thrusters with hydrazine and MON3 for geostationary satellites in 2001. The high-performance 450N thruster has been widely used by US satellite manufactures. IHI Aerospace delivered its first bipropellant thruster ,for the 1700N N2H4/MON apogee engine, in the 1980s and remains at the forefront of apogee engine production. The 490N and 110N thrusters were developed with MMH and MON as fuel for the HTV. These bipropellant thrusters are stable over a wide operational range? and are less expensive than imported thrusters.

Model Thrust Propellant Isp Inlet pressure Demonstrated life Throughput Status
BT-4 450N Hydrazine/ NTO 326s F : >1.69MPa,O : >1.62Mpa 32850s - Flight proven
BT-6 21.5N Hydrazine/ NTO 295s 1.69MPa - 583kg Flight proven
HBT-5 478N MMH/MON3 316s 1.72MPa 15000s - Flight proven
HBT-1 124.4N MMH/MON3 274.9s 2.05MPa 40000s 446kg Flight proven

Hydrazine Bipropellant Thrusters

image 450N Thruster (BT-4)
image 22N Thruster (BT-6)

MMH Bipropellant Thrusters

image 490N Thruster (HBT-5)
image 120N Thruster (HBT-1)

Monopropellant Thrusters

Over 1,100 hydrazine monopropellant thrusters manufactured by IHI Aerospace have been launched since the start of development in the 1964. Its thrust range from 1N from 50N. The advanced 1N and 4N thrusters have?recently been developed to enhance its competitiveness, reliability and lifetime.

Model Thrust Isp Number of pulses Throughput Status
MT-9 0.29-1.13N 208-215s >850,000 >100kg Flight proven
MT-8A 1.80-5.01N 212-225s >850,000 >190kg Flight proven
MT-2 6.9-19.6N 210-226s >261,914 >115kg Flight proven
MT-2B 8.5-30N 212-223s >150,000 >140kg Being developed
MT-6 23-50N 215-225s >14,800 >120kg Flight proven
MT-6A 50N 225s >14,000 >107kg Qualified
image 1N Thruster (MT-9)
image 4N Thruster (MT-8A)
image 20N Thruster (MT-2)
image 50N Thruster (MT-6)

Propellant Tanks

IHI Aerospace has developed a wide range of propellant tanks and pressurant tanks for launchers and satellites since the start of development in the 1964. Over 200 propellant tanks have been launched and successfully operated. IHI Aerospace’s product line covers a wide range of tanks from 3 to 1500 liters in volume and from diaphragms to surface tension channel mesh propellant management devices (PMDs).

Line up of Propellant Tanks
Volume [L] Size [mm] Internal device Mount type Status
3 182 ID Sphere DIAPHRAGM Boss Flight proven
10 270 ID Sphere NONE Tab (Lug) Fully developed
14 300 ID Sphere BLADDER Flange Flight proven
14 300 ID Sphere VANE Flange Flight proven
18 278 ID Tear-drop NONE Tab (Lug) Flight proven
22 300 ID x 390? length SPONGE METAL Tab (Lug) Flight proven
37 420 ID Sphere DIAPHRAGM 3 Tab (Lug) Flight proven
37 420 ID Sphere DIAPHRAGM Pedestal Flight proven
48 449 ID Tear-drop NONE Tab (Lug) Fully developed
56 474 ID Sphere NONE Tab (Lug) Flight proven
67 420 ID x 750? length DIAPHRAGM Pedestal Flight proven
74 420 ID x 754? length DIAPHRAGM 4 Tab (Lug) Fully developed
74 570 ID x 500? length DIAPHRAGM 4 Tab (Lug) Being developed
86 550 ID Sphere CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
117 609 ID Sphere START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
141 650 ID Sphere DIAPHRAGM 3 Tab (Lug) Flight proven
169 650 ID x 750? length DIAPHRAGM 3 Tab (Lug) Fully developed
202 720 ID Sphere CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Being developed
289 820 ID Sphere START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
300 820 ID x 845? length START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
389 820 ID x 1011? length START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
427 820 ID x 1087 length CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
430 820 ID x 994 length VANE Tab (Skirt) EM developed
430 820 ID x 1087 length CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
510 995 ID Sphere START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
552 1020 ID Sphere CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
672 1020 ID x 1260 length CHANNEL MESH 8 Tab (Lug) Being developed
726 1020 ID x 1316 length CHANNEL MESH 4 Tab (Lug) Fully developed
760 1136 ID Sphere START BASKET Tab (Lug) Flight proven
1018 1156 ID x 1361 length CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
1147 1300 ID Sphere CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
1494 1300 ID x 1565 length CHANNEL MESH Tab (Lug) Flight proven
image HTV 552 [liters]
image ASNARO 67 [liters]

Internal Devices
-Diaphragm (SiO2-free diaphragm is under development)
-Surface tension channel mesh
-Others (Start basket and sponge metal)

image Diaphragm
image Channel Mesh
image Vane
image HTV 552 [liters]
image ASNARO 67 [liters]

Electric Propulsion Thrusters

Electric Propulsion Thrusters

IHI Aerospace has designed, developed and manufactured several types of electric thrusters for spacecraft since 1983. We are currently developing high-power Hall Thrusters for all-electric satellites.

Model Propellant Thrust Level Electrical Power
Number of
Units Delivered
Electro-thermal Hydrazine Thruster (EHT) Hydrazine 0.40-0.13N 500W 2 Flight proven
MPD Thruster Hydrazine >20mN 1kW 4 Flight proven
DC Arcjet Thruster Hydrazine 90-130mN 1kW - EM completed
Low power Hall Thruster Xe 62mN 1.0kW - Being developed
High power Hall Thruster Xe >230mN@BOL
4kW - Being developed
Low Power Hall Thruster Low Power Hall Thruster
High Power Hall Thruster High Power Hall Thruster

Launch Site Support / Testing Capabilities

Launch Site Support

IHI Aerospace has a great deal of expertise and heritage in propellant loading and testing support after delivery .

Testing support
Propellant loading

Manufacturing and Testing Capabilities

Our manufacturing capabilities include the processes, testing and equipment required for fabrication of variety of propulsion components and propulsion systems for spacecraft.

  • Firing test stand for apogee engines
  • Firing test stand for small thrusters(3 Vacuum chambers)
  • Stage firing test stand (sea level)
Small thrauster test facility
High Altitude Test Facility

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