The SS-520-5 launcher is not intended to be an operational vehicle.
To my knowledge it has once successfully launched a cubesat, and that was the end of the project (thought I could be wrong).
- Will JAXA try again to launch TRICOM-1 with the "world's smallest orbital rocket" SS-520-4 again?
- How small could an orbital rocket be?
- Do launchers using only solid propellant exist?
- Has there ever been a completely solid fuelled orbital rocket?
- Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat?
There's a discussion under What is the smallest object our current technology is capable of launching into space? where I suggest the SS-520-5 could be considered as a sounding rocket that (barely) managed to put a few kg payload into orbit and suggested that vice grips used once as a hammer don't cease to be vice grips.
But there's some pushback that I'm wrong and the SS-520-5 should not be considered as a sounding rocket.
Question: Is the SS-520-5 both a floor wax and a desert topping?1 Can it be considered both a sounding rocket and an orbital vehicle?
The high thrust/weight ratio at each stage and extremely high accelerations suggest to me that you could significantly increase the payload mass and put that payload on a sounding rocket trajectory to do sounding rocket research. It certainly seems one could think of it as a sounding rocket with the potential to reach orbit; is that wrong of me?
Addressing the "floor wax and a desert topping" aspect:
- CZ-5 plus YZ-2 put SJ-17 in GEO - third stage or separate spacecraft?
1See New Shimmer below (still can't find a video)