Japan Successfully Launches Epsilon-5 Rocket with 9 Satellites

Science Society

Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Pref., Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, on Tuesday successfully launched its fifth Epsilon solid-fuel rocket carrying nine small satellites.

The rocket was launched at 9:55 a.m. (12:55 a.m. GMT) from JAXA's Uchinoura Space Center in the town of Kimotsuki in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

JAXA initially planned to launch the Epsilon-5 rocket Oct. 1, but this was canceled just before the scheduled liftoff time due to a glitch in ground radar equipment. The launch was then postponed twice because of unfavorable weather conditions.

The rocket, which is 26 meters long and weighs 96 tons, injected the rapid innovative payload demonstration satellite-2, or RAISE-2, into orbit about 570 kilometers above Earth around 50 minutes after the liftoff. The other eight satellites were released later. The feat came after all four previous Epsilon rockets were launched successfully.

RAISE-2 carries parts and equipment developed by entities including Mitsubishi Electric Corp. <6503> and Tohoku University to test whether they can operate in space.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press