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Jan. 14, 2017
SS-520 Rocket carrying small satellites launches
A Japanese sounding rocket lifted off carrying the TRICOM-1 CubeSat in an experimental launch to see if a sounding rocket, usually used for sub-orbital missions, could orbit a payload.
Liftoff took place at 23:33 UTC from Uchinoura in Japan. Reports came in after launch that the second stage did not ignite after the first stage resulting in a launch failure.
Launch of Japan’s NanoSat Launcher with TRICOM-1 on SS-520 Rocket
The 9.5-meter SS-520-4 rocket, only one-fifth the length of an H-IIA rocket, is based on the two-stage solid-fueled SS-520 model designed to lift observatory equipment to an altitude of about 1,000 km.
With one stage added, the SS-520-4 became one of the smallest rockets in the world capable of putting a satellite into Earth’s orbit. The tiny satellite to be carried by the small rocket is the University of Tokyo’s TRICOM-1, which weighs some 3 kg.
TRICOM 1 spacecraft
Costs to remodel the SS-520 rocket and develop the satellite to take pictures of Earth and conduct communications experiments were cut by using commercial electronic parts.
The project chiefly used ¥400 million provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Unveiling the SS-520-4 rocket to the media Monday, Hiroto Habu, an associate professor at JAXA, said, “I really want to make the difficult project successful, because it should help expand the use of the space.”
For more information about Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), visit: http://global.jaxa.jp/
Images, Video, Text, Credits: JAXA/The Japan Times/Günter Space Page.
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