Spaceflight Insider

Japanese H-IIA 204 prepped to launch Telstar 12V

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission H-IIA rocket at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan NASA photo posted on SpaceFlight Insider

The Telstar 12V satellite is being prepared for a Nov. 24 launch from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan (Archive Photo). Photo Credit: NASA

The U.S. Telstar 12V (Telstar 12 Vantage) satellite is primed and ready for launch atop a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA 204 rocket from the launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center located in Japan. Liftoff is currently scheduled to take place at 15:23 JST (06:23 GMT) on Nov. 24, 2015. If everything goes according to plan, the spacecraft will become the latest addition to Telesat’s fleet of communications satellites.

Telstar 12V satellite

Airbus Defence and Space preparing the shipment of communications satellite Telstar 12 VANTAGE to launch site. (Click to enlarge.) Photo Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

In August of 2013, Astrium was awarded the contract by Telesat, a global satellite operator. Under the terms of this agreement, Astrium was obligated to construct the satellite, and the firm opted to base the spacecraft (slated to launch tomorrow) on the Eurostar E3000 platform.

Upon reaching orbit, Telstar 12V will replace the satellite currently residing at the 15 degrees West position – Telstar 12. This spacecraft should expand upon the capabilities of its predecessor, It will provide coverage throughout the Americas, EMEA regions, Europe, the Caribbean as well as the South Atlantic (according to a report appearing on Gunter’s Space Page).

With a launch mass of slightly less than five metric tons, Telstar 12V will run off of approximately 11 kW of electrical power and should be in operation for about 15 years.

This will mark the fourth and final launch from Tanegashima this year. Controllers will have one hour and 44 minutes in the launch window to get the booster and spacecraft off of the launch pad and into the skies.

Produced by Mistubishi Heavy Industrires, the H-IIA has been used to launch an array of missions to low-Earth, geostationary orbits – and even to send missions to destinations beyond Earth’s gravitational influence.

The first H-IIA took to the skies of Japan in 2001 and has been launched some 28 times throughout that period. So far, the booster has managed to obtain a success rate of some 95 percent.


Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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