JAXA Engineering Test Satellite ETS-VIII (Kiku 8) is the eighth technology test satellite in a series which started with ETS-1 in 1975 by NASDA. It was launched with the H-2A on December 18, 2006. ETS-VIII was developed by JAXA in cooperation with NICT and NTT. The aim of ETS-VIII is to enable satellite communications with small terminals. Unlike the Iridium satellites for mobile communication, ETS-VIII is positioned at GEO. However to fulfill the task the satellite must carry two very large antennas. It was the first use of the 204 configuration (four strap-on boosters) of the H-IIA launch vehicle.

Kiku 8
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2006-059A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.29656
Mission duration10 years
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerMitsubishi Electric
Launch mass5,800 kilograms (12,800 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date18 December 2006, 06:32 (2006-12-18UTC06:32Z) UTC[1]
RocketH-IIA 204
Launch siteTanegashima Yoshinobu 1
Entered service9 May 2007
End of mission
Deactivated10 January 2017 (2017-01-11)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude145.7° east
Semi-major axis42,163.77 kilometres (26,199.35 mi)
Perigee altitude35,769 kilometres (22,226 mi)
Apogee altitude35,816 kilometres (22,255 mi)
Inclination3.04 degrees
Period23.93 hours
RAAN68.56 degrees
Argument of perigee138.47 degrees
Epoch29 October 2013, 19:34:27 UTC[2]


  • December 20, 2000: Launch of LDREX, a demonstration of the large antenna reflector deployment, aboard Ariane 5. Deployment failed.
  • October 14, 2006 Launch of LDREX-2 with the Ariane 5, model antenna deployed successfully.
  • December 18, 2006: ETS-VIII was launched aboard H-IIA.
  • December 26, 2006 Both antennas were deployed. [1] Archived 2007-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  • January 9, 2007 GEO orbit injection. [2]
  • May 9, 2007 The satellite switched to normal operation phase. [3]
  • January 10, 2017: Decommissioned.[3]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  2. ^ Peat, Chris (29 October 2013). "ETS 8 - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  3. ^ 「きく8号」の運用終了について (in Japanese). JAXA. January 11, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2017.