The Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) was established in 1969, when the original National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) was formed. It is the largest space-development facility in Japan (8,600,000 square meters) and is located in the south of Kagoshima Prefecture, along the southeast coast of Tanegashima. It is known as the most beautiful rocket-launch complex in the world.
On-site facilities include the Takesaki Range (for small rockets), the Osaki Range (for J-I and H-IIA launch vehicles), the Masuda Tracking and Communication Station, the Nogi Radar Station, the Uchugaoka Radar Station, and optical observation facilities to the west. There are also related developmental facilities for test firings of liquid and solid-fuel rocket engines.
The TNSC’s main role is the management of satellites at every stage of flight including countdown, launching, and tracking. The TNSC is expected to play an increasingly important role as the demand for satellites grows.