Re: Japanese Space Shuttle & Space Plane Projects

Unmanned HOPE shuttle
 

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Unmanned HOPE shuttle
 

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Manned HOPE Shuttle
 

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Japanese Lunar Program
 

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Japanese Lunar Program
 

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Japanese Mars Program
 

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Space Stations and other concepts
 

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hesham said:
Hi,

here is also a Japanese Himes mini-shuttle topic;

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,7937.0/highlight,japanese+shuttle.html

I also noticed a small thread on the HOPE-X, think we can merge the threads?
 

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ozmosis&blackie, sincere thanks for these rarities!
 
Hi! JAXA and Mitsubishi are planning to develop new 3 stage H-3 rocket for planet exploration and manned space flight.
有人船:manned space ship, 探査機:exploration space ship, エンジン:engine, 段目:stage, 全長:overall length, 重量:weight, 静止軌道:stationary orbit, 固体補助ロケット:solid rocket booster, トン:ton, 打ち上げ能力:launching performance, 新設計:new design
 

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Thanks. Those are really neat.

During the early-mid 1990s the Japanese were great at viewgraph engineering. They used to produce these glossy brochures about the HOPE spaceplane that were high-quality paper and very nice to look at. But it was all a lot of baloney--they never had approval to go ahead with any of that stuff.

I know somebody who works with the Japanese on one of their space projects and he's told me some stories about some really nutty concepts floating around within the Japanese space program--things that are just beyond belief. One example was a proposed mission to an asteroid that would require 100+ heavy lift launches on the order of the Ares V. Considering that NASA has a much bigger program than the Japanese, and considering that at most NASA was considering two Ares V launches per year, you can see how totally out of touch with reality such an idea was. And yet this wasn't just some fanboy, this was a guy who worked in the Japanese space program.
 
The picture above does NOT represent the Hope-X vehicle as labeled, but the HSFD sub-scale demonstrator.

Here is a summary of this very interesting program, and some links to it:

Japan's Missions for RSTS Development

NAL (National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan) and NASDA (National Space Development Agency of Japan), which are two bodies among three organizations which composed JAXA, have successfully conducted four experiments to develop technologies for reusable space vehicles: OREX, HYFLEX, ALFLEX, and HSFD. The outcomes of these experiments have contributed to Japan's space technological expertise.

Japan's missions to complete


A recent biography of Burt Rutan also states that Scaled Composites worked on a "Fuji Mini Shuttle POC" vehicle at about the same time as the X-38 CRV. The ALFLEX fits very well in the "mini-shuttle" category, which is also consistent with the time sequence, but I couldn't find any further confirmation whether Rutan worked on ALFLEX or on HSFD-I, which was however a little bigger and a slightly later design.
 
Kawasaki space leaflet found on eBay.

Source:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Kawasaki-Space-Leaflet-/190443263485?pt=UK_Collectables_Aeronautica_MJ&hash=item2c574d95fd
 

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This old FBIS/JPRS report includes an interesting glimpse of Japan's plans for space in 1986-87.


5 Space Developing Activities in Area of Techniques Common to Transport
Systems

Japan will possess three types of rockets: M-rocket using a solid propellant,
N-system rocket using a petroleum-type fuel and H-system rocket using a
liquid hydrogen fuel. They will be developed as typical machines corresponding
to their respective payloads. No other new types will be developed.
Rather, the plan will stress expanding the applied capacities of the rockets.

The M-rocket will continue to be used in the future for smaller missions,
the N-system rocket will be the main type pending the use of the H-I rocket
and the H-I rocket will be developed and used as the nation's main type for
the period from 1985. Further, the H-II rocket capable of launching an
artificial satellite of about 2 tons into a geostationary orbit will continue
to be developed to meet the demand for launching large artificial satellites
in the 1990's.
 
blackstar said:
Thanks. Those are really neat.

During the early-mid 1990s the Japanese were great at viewgraph engineering. They used to produce these glossy brochures about the HOPE spaceplane that were high-quality paper and very nice to look at. But it was all a lot of baloney--they never had approval to go ahead with any of that stuff.

I know somebody who works with the Japanese on one of their space projects and he's told me some stories about some really nutty concepts floating around within the Japanese space program--things that are just beyond belief. One example was a proposed mission to an asteroid that would require 100+ heavy lift launches on the order of the Ares V. Considering that NASA has a much bigger program than the Japanese, and considering that at most NASA was considering two Ares V launches per year, you can see how totally out of touch with reality such an idea was. And yet this wasn't just some fanboy, this was a guy who worked in the Japanese space program.

1980-1990 was the period when Japanese economy was forecasted to grow to several time the size of US economy by 2030 and Tokyo was going to be covered in mile high sky pyramidal shaped scrapers that would house a quarter million people each.
 
chuck4 said:
1980-1990 was the period when Japanese economy was forecasted to grow to several time the size of US economy by 2030 and Tokyo was going to be covered in mile high sky pyramidal shaped scrapers that would house a quarter million people each.

Certainly. There were lots of books at the time predicting the rise of Japan and its surpassing the United States. Many of them came out only a few years before the Japanese bubble burst. Now the predictions are that Japan will be filled with old people and no young people to take care of them, so they'll have robots do that for them.

I think that the predictions of the Japanese ascendancy in the 1980s should serve as a cautionary tale to those who predict that China will surpass everybody else, or who predict that Japan will be filled with old people and no young people to take care of them. It's not a good idea to simply draw lines on a graph far out into the future, especially since we seem to be unable to make predictions even five years into the future with any accuracy.

The case that I referred to with the Japanese space engineer proposing a massive asteroid mission was from only a few years ago, not the 1980s. The person who told me that story works for NASA, and his point was that whereas NASA has people who are out of touch with reality, the Japanese space agency has people who are apparently hallucinating.
 
LARGE SCALE COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE PLANNED

OW231033 Tokyo KYODO in English 0938 GMT 23 Mar 87

[Text] Tokyo, March 23 KYODO—A government advisory council on communications
technology Friday submitted to Posts and Telecommunications Minister Shujiro
Karasawa plans for the development of a geostationary platform-style communications
satellite, ministry officials said.

The proposed large-scale space platform, scheduled for completion early next
century, will be equipped with a number of large antennas to relay signals
emitted by a variety of communication media ranging from car telephones to
international data transmission systems, the officials said.

The ministry envisages three of the communications satellites in place over
Japan, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific soon after the year 2000.
The council's plan gave no indication of the projects cost.

The first phase of the satellite development program will involved a number of
preliminary experiments to be conducted aboard a space platform scheduled for
joint development by scientists from Japan, the United States and the European
Community in the mid-1990's, according to the plan.

In step two of the program, a small-scale (3-ton) platform-style satellite
will be used to conduct further practical experiments in the latter half of
the next decade.

The final phase will involve the satellite's structural assembly and the development
of essential components such as relays and antennas.

Larger than satellites previously developed in Japan, the proposed communications
satellite will be assembled in a low 500-kilometer orbit before gradually
being moved out to a stationary orbit of 36,000 kilometers.

/6662
CSO: 4307.021
 
I'm not sure about the relevancy of the post on the Japanese comsat.

However...

At one point Japan was planning on competing against the United States in communications satellites. They spent a lot of money on experimental ones. The US and Japan then struck a deal: Japan would not move into the comsat business and in return (I think) the US would not impose tariffs on Japanese automobiles. Simply put, the US protected its comsat industry and Japan protected its automobile industry. This was in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I believe.

By the late 1990s the US government decided to implement a number of policies that then undercut the US comsat industry. We used to have something like 60+ percent of the market, now I think it is around 30 percent. That was because of ITAR and related things. A great example of the government shooting a leading American industry in the foot.
 
from Google books tidbits...

Japan original plans were to jump from Delta (N1 / N2) to cryo-delta (H1A) then improve the H1 (H1B) and then only then, the all cryo, all Japanese H-2.
It seems that circa 1984 the Japanese PTT wanted a heavy comsat that outperformed the H1B 850 kg to GEO. They threatened to move their satellite to an American rocket, and NASDA was forced to jump to the H2 and LE-10 straight ahead. Hence the failure of that rocket.

By the way, information on alternate H2 designs would be welcomed. There were kerolox variants planned, building from Mitsubishi experience with the licence-build Delta engine, the MB-3.
 
blackstar said:
I'm not sure about the relevancy of the post on the Japanese comsat.

The planners were confident that Japan would have it's own space shuttle/organic space construction capability in place by the year 2000, so that they would be able to have the platforms assembled in Low Earth Orbit and moved up into their operational orbits.
 
Another couple of old news items, from 1986:

FREE-FLYER'S DEVELOPMENT WORK SHARES SETTLED—The Space Experiment System
Research and Development Organization has decided on development work share
of the 13 companies participating in the preliminary design of the freeflyer
(unmanned space laboratory) which will be launched by Japan's H-II
rocket and recovered by the U.S. Space Shuttle. According to the work share
allotment, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. will integrate the overall systems.
Toshiba Corp. is given the power supply systems. NEC Corp. is in charge of
the telecommunications systems and the solar battery paddles. Fujitsu Ltd.
is responsible for the ground control systems. Nippondenso Co., Ltd. will
deal with space equipment for the first time with a part of the structure of
the free-flyer. The total development cost of the free-flyer is estimated
at about ¥30 billion. It is expected to be launched in 1992. [Text] [Tokyo
AEROSPACE JAPAN-WEEKLY in English 10 Nov 86 pp 6-7] /13046


STA FORMS STUDY GROUP ON SPACE PLANE—With a view to developing a new system
for manned space flights, the Science and Technology Agency (STA) has formed
a "Space Plane Study Group" as an advisory body to the STA's Research
Coordination Bureau Director General. It will study the current status of
the space plane research and development activities both at home and abroad,
an appropriate concept of the space plane for Japan to work on, technical
problems, international cooperation and so on. The study group is expected
to compile its studies into a report in early FY 1987. The conceivable
choices for the Japanese space plane are: 1) an unmanned small-size space
shuttle installed atop the H-II rocket; 2) a manned small-size space shuttle
atop the H-II; and 3) a fully re-usable vehicle like the Orient Express.
[Text] [Tokyo AEROSPACE JAPAN-WEEKLY in English 10 Nov 86 p 7] /13046
 
blackkite said:
Hi! JAXA and Mitsubishi are planning to develop new 3 stage H-3 rocket for planet exploration and manned space flight.
有人船:manned space ship, 探査機:exploration space ship, エンジン:engine, 段目:stage, 全長:overall length, 重量:weight, 静止軌道:stationary orbit, 固体補助ロケット:solid rocket booster, トン:ton, 打ち上げ能力:launching performance, 新設計:new design

June 1, 2013


Jiji Press

The Committee on Space Policy has given the go-ahead for the development of a next-generation rocket succeeding the H-2A.

The development cost of the new rocket, tentatively named H-3, will be included in fiscal budget requests starting in April 2014, with the first launch targeted for fiscal 2020.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. have been conducting research and development. Detailed specifications have yet to be discussed.

At a meeting on Thursday, the committee said a fundamental review of the development process and management is needed to maintain international standards over the long term.

The committee said the traditional division of roles between JAXA and the private sector, which handle development and manufacturing, respectively, should be reconsidered. The private sector should play a more active role, it said.

(Jiji Press)
 
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000292152

The Office of National Space Policy has decided to develop a new mainline rocket to replace the H2A, with development set to begin next fiscal year and a first launch around 2020.

Eighteen years after work started on the H2A, the government hopes to enter the commercial launch market with the new rocket, in addition to sending up government satellites.

As another goal is to cut costs significantly, private-sector participation in the rocket’s development is a major issue.

Desire for a successor

“We’re aiming for around 2020, when new rockets from overseas are expected to start appearing,” Hiroshi Yamakawa, head of the Space Transport System Section at the office and professor of space engineering at Kyoto University, said after a meeting of his section May 28.

The space policy office is an advisory body to the prime minister that considers and makes proposals on matters such as space policy and budget allocation. It has seven part-time members and is chaired by Yoshiyuki Kasai, chairman of Central Japan Railways Co.
 

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Their space program has taken a budget hit from the recession and the tsunami. They're limited in what they can afford to do.
 
blackkite said:
Hi! JAXA and Mitsubishi are planning to develop new 3 stage H-3 rocket for planet exploration and manned space flight.
有人船:manned space ship, 探査機:exploration space ship, エンジン:engine, 段目:stage, 全長:overall length, 重量:weight, 静止軌道:stationary orbit, 固体補助ロケット:solid rocket booster, トン:ton, 打ち上げ能力:launching performance, 新設計:new design

For those of us who don't speak japanese could you tell us the specifications for that liquid fueled one? Such as gross mass, engine characteristics, etc.

Here's another article on it:

Japan Wants Space Plane or Capsule by 2022
Rob Coppinger, SPACE.com ContributorDate: 24 October 2012 Time: 07:00 AM ET
http://www.space.com/18198-japan-plans-manned-capsule-space-plane.html


Bob Clark
 
Hi!
全長 : Length, 重量 : weight, メートル : m, トン : ton, 静止軌道への打ち上げ能力 : Launch capability to a geostationary orbit
固体補助ロケット : solid rocket booster(SRB), 新設計したエンジン : new design engine 有人船、探査機 : Manned spaceship、 Probe , 基 : set
 

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blackkite said:
Hi!
全長 : Length, 重量 : weight, メートル : m, トン : ton, 静止軌道への打ち上げ能力 : Launch capability to a geostationary orbit
固体補助ロケット : solid rocket booster(SRB), 新設計したエンジン : new design engine 有人船、探査機 : Manned spaceship、 Probe , 基 : set

Odd. Putting that through Google translator still does not assign any numbers to those values.

Bob Clark
 
RGClark said:
Odd. Putting that through Google translator still does not assign any numbers to those values.

Bob Clark

sadly, Google translator is not perfect, in especial exotic language like PHP or HTML 5, part of the data is lost in translation...
 
RGClark said:
blackkite said:
Hi!
全長 : Length, 重量 : weight, メートル : m, トン : ton, 静止軌道への打ち上げ能力 : Launch capability to a geostationary orbit
固体補助ロケット : solid rocket booster(SRB), 新設計したエンジン : new design engine 有人船、探査機 : Manned spaceship、 Probe , 基 : set

Odd. Putting that through Google translator still does not assign any numbers to those values.

That's because they're not numbers.
全長 is the Japanese for "Length"
so Blackkite has provided the key to read the information in the attached image http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,12387.msg190756.html#msg190756
 
Thanks!
H3 Rocket
Length : 50m, Weight : 240-280ton, Launch capability to a geostationary orbit : 4ton(using SRB : 6 ton)
First stage engine : LEX×3, Second stage engine : LEX?

H2B Rocket
Length : 57m, Weight : 530ton, Launch capability to a geostationary orbit : 7ton
First stage engine : LE7A×2, Second stage engine : LE5B2×1
 
What has happened with the concept of transferring the rocket technology to private industry? Rocket systems corp?
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-01-23/business/9401230008_1_japanese-space-commercial-space-industry-unmanned-space-shuttle
 
blackkite said:
Thanks!
H3 Rocket
Length : 50m, Weight : 240-280ton, Launch capability to a geostationary orbit : 4ton(using SRB : 6 ton)
First stage engine : LEX×3, Second stage engine : LEX?

...

Thanks for that. Those numbers would be comparable to an all liquid version of the Ariane 6 that like this Japanese version could be used for a manned launcher.

Bob Clark
 
Some materials technology research from the late '80s, including work on functionally gradient
materials [FGMs]:

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a346139.pdf

FGM's are considered the first of the fusion materials in the material
technology trend ranging from the conventional "separation type" centered
around separate functions, via the "composite type" aiming at the synergism
of dominant property among component elements, up to the "fusion type" in
which the scope reaches the microscopic level whereby even the distinction
between different types of materials is not clear.

Since intended gradient functions can be selected in these materials by
means of multiple changes in the composition and structure in regard to
thickness and a variety of materials can be selected for combination, new
functions totally different from those now common are available. When one
reflects that this type of heterogeneous material was often conventionally
treated as a defective material, it appears that we are living in a quite
different age.

Although opinions are divided on the background of why such a new materials
concept has appeared, it appears that after all it is largely due to the
inception of such huge projects as the future aerospace and energy projects,
the development of materials by computer-aided means, etc.

The future spacecraft regarded as the immediate objective is a gigantic
project in which various advanced nations such as the United States, the EC
nations, and Japan are engaged in a fierce development competition with each
other, with the development target set at the beginning of the 21st century.
The breakthrough in this gigantic project, after all, solely depends upon
whether or not the advanced technologies in regard to materials have reached
the appropriate level at the present stage. For example, the achievement
of the appropriate temperature for each element of the space shuttle based
upon the estimated speed of Mach 8 (eight times the speed of sound) when it
reenters the atmosphere is as shown in Figure 1. The temperature range
reaching the highest level as a result of aerodynamic heating is at the nose
and at the inlet of the propulsion system, where it reaches a temperature
of almost 1,800°C. Moreover, the shuttle is also exposed to a temperature
as low as -253°C when the liquid hydrogen engine is used as the propulsion
system and it becomes an incredible "fireball flying shuttle with a built-in
ultralow- temperature tank."

Among the various materials presently considered as candidates for fuselage
materials for such spacecraft, the use of various inorganic system composite
materials for high-temperature parts is under consideration by the United
States and other countries, and a competition in this, including FGM's, can
be expected in the future. It is evident that the key to the success of a
space shuttle operating in a harsh environment lies in the propulsion
system, and the material's technology, the importance of the material for
this system, is also great. After all, materials have reached the position
of the latest stage high technology. We recently came across an expression
to this effect also in the United States.

Up to now, our discussion has centered on heat-resistant characteristics for
the aerospace field, which is the immediate area of concern. However, the
concept of functionally gradient materials is not limited to such thermal
and mechanical functions. It is believed that gradient materials will be
oriented to multiple functions in the future, and that the range of
application will also be diversified, as indicated in Table 1. Expectations
are especially high in regard to the polymer and biological areas, in which
the practical use impact will be great.

For FGM's to become widely accepted as industrial materials in the society,
taking into account the environment and characteristics required, the issues
and problem points of these materials must be ascertained and appropriate
countermeasures taken.

Note that the 'space shuttle' being talked about is the NASP.
 

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