to the M-V Rocket are currenly under way aimed at increasing performance
and reducing cost. The 1/2 stage separation tests conducted from January
24 through February 2 at the Kagoshima Space Center were part of this
process. The object of the test this time was to verify the separation
feature and to measure the large mechanical shock that occurs at the moment
of separation. In the improved M-V Rocket, the attitude control unit SMSJ,
which previously was wrapped around the second interstage nozzle, will
be changed to a new 1/2 interstage installed on the external two-stage
grid construction. In this way, since it is now near the separation side,
i.e., the source of the mechanical shock, the SMSJ is mounted via a shock
mount to buffer the mechanical shock. The essential point of the measurement
of the mechanical shock this time was to determine whether even this buffered
shock was still great enough to damage the shock- mounted SMSJ.

for the separation test itself, it was conducted while being raised by
the assembly tower crane. The new 1/2 interstage was displayed upside
down in the construction functional test ridge coupled with the development
model of the M-14 motor case No. 1 segment. The first grid construction
dropped with a terrible roaring sound and a flash of light, and the test
ended safely. Mechanical shock data were also recorded, and a detailed
analysis of this data will begin from now on. This test marks the completion
of the series of development tests following the static load test for
M-V rockets performed in August 2000.