Lambda (rocket family)


Lambda 4S (replica) and the launcher as exhibited at National Museum of Nature and Science.

Lambda is the name of a series of Japanese carrier rockets. It consisted of the types Lambda 2, LS-A, LSC-3, Lambda 3, Lambda 4 and LS-C, developed jointly by Institute of Industrial Science of University of Tokyo, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Tokyo University, and Prince Motor Company, which merged with Nissan in 1966.[1]

On February 11, 1970 the first Japanese satellite Ohsumi was launched using a Lambda 4 rocket.

Lambda series rockets did not have guidance systems, as they had the potential to be converted for offensive military use, thus interpreted as a violation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. However, future Japanese launch vehicles, such as the H-II, were allowed to have guidance systems.[2]

The Lambda 4 was launched nine times, though five were failures. The first launch of the Lambda 4S rocket took place on September 26, 1966 from Kagoshima. A fourth-stage attitude control failed resulting in loss of the vehicle and payload. The last launch date was September 1, 1974[citation needed].


  1. ^ "A short history of the Prince Motor Co., Ltd". Nissan. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  2. ^ "H-II Launch Vehicle". JAXA. Retrieved 2021-01-01.

External links