Japan kicked off 2017 with the successful launch of a military communications satelite on an H2A launcher on 24th January. The launch, at 4:44 p.m. Japan Standard Time, carried X-band defence communication satellite-2, also known as DSN-2.
The launch and the separation of the satellite proceeded according to schedule, according to a statement from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
DSN-2 is the second in a series of three X-band relay satellites for the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The scheduled launch of the first satellite on an Ariane 5 in summer 2016 was postponed after the satellite was damaged during shipment to the Guiana Space Centre.
The DSN programme to develop X-band satellite communications for the Japanese Ministry of Defense is managed by DSN Corporation, a subsidiary of SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.
Japan launched two H2As and one H2B last year. The most recent launch featured an H2A in a configuration with four solid rocket boosters, capable of placing 6t payloads into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) — only the third time in ten years that this configuration has been used.