JAXA Tsukuba Space Center is pure porn for space nerds.

Even the early satellites of the '70s and '80s were enormous. I can't convey their true size with these shots.

This is the H-II transfer vehicle, which resupplies the International Space Station. They're planning to launch another one of these in May from the Tanegashima Space Center, and I'm planning to go watch it.

A lineup of the Japanese launch vehicles. The largest one is the upcoming H3, whose maiden flight is scheduled later this year. It is 63m tall, weights 570t and... still not reusable :-(

The first-stage engine of the H-II (right) and the second-stage LE-5 engine shown inside the inter-stage section.

The upcoming LE-9 engine, with its expander bleeding cycle, has worse specific impulse than its predecessor LE-7A. So... why are they even making it? 🤔


And this is a full scale model of the famous Hayabusa 2, which just finished exploring Ryugu and is currently on its way back to deliver its precious cargo of asteroid samples in a re-entry capsule by December 2020.
I thought Hayabusa 2 itself would disintegrate in our atmosphere after completing it's mission, but apparently it has enough propellent on board for an extended mission until 2029. Go on and explore, Hayabusa!


The back of the Hayabusa 2 reveals the sample collector and the spherical sample return capsule which will be shot onto Australia in December.

And this is a full-scale model of the Japanese ISS module. The thing looking like a trailer is really attached to the ISS and it's some sort of particle detector.

I didn't know the Japanese section also had an arm. I guess that's why the other one is called Canadian Arm and not just Arm 😄

Can foreigners also become Japanese astronauts? Asking for a friend.


Oh, look! You get to eat combini food in the Japanese section of the ISS. They even get Kwepie! 😂
Ok, where do I sign up?

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