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M-V Satellite Launch Vehicles

M-V Satellite Launch Vehicles

M-V rockets opened a new era in Japan's space development.

The former ISAS (currently ISAS of JAXA) keenly observed space phenomena including supernovae, aurorae and Halley's Comet, making full use of the M (Mu) rocket series developed to launch scientific satellites. As a result, ISAS is now renowned as one of the world's most important space science bases.

To meet the expected increase in demand for space science in the 21st century, the M-3SII series (the fourth generation of M rockets) which played a vital role for more than 10 years, were replaced by their successors, the M-V rockets. M-V rockets are a substantially improved version based on technologies developed and nurtured on M rockets. Although the M-V-4 failed to put ASTRO-E satellite into orbit (the only failure among seven M-V missions), M-V rockets were successful in putting four astronomical observation satellites and two planetary explorers into their planned orbits, opening the door to a new era for solar system science to visit and explore planets.

For their role in successful missions including planetary explorations, M-V rockets were highly praised as “the best solid-propellant rockets in the world.EHowever, after the launch of M-V-7 in September 2006, production of the M-V series was discontinued for various reasons.

M-V Launch Vehicle Missions