JAXA's Epsilon Launch Successful on Second Try – UPDATE

JAXA's Epsilon Launch Successful on Second Try – UPDATE

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) succeeded in launching its new Epsilon rocket from the Uchinoura launch center at 1:00 am this morning, Saturday, September 14, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), or 2:00 pm Japan Standard Time.

The first attempt was scrubbed 19 seconds before liftoff on August 27 because of a computer programming error. 

Epsilon replaces the M-V rocket developed by Japan’s Institute for Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS).  ISAS and two other entities merged in 2003 to form JAXA.  A three-stage solid rocket vehicle, Epsilon is lower cost than M-V, relying more on autonomous systems.  The payload is the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A), which will study planetary magnetospheres, especially Jupiter’s.

UPDATE, September 14, 8:05 am EDT: JAXA announced the nickname for the SPRINT-A spacecraft is HISAKI.  The solar panels deployed and the satellite is in good health.

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