Japan JAXA set to launch new rocket September 14

After an automatic abort on the first launch attempt of Japans new Epsilon-1 rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center a new launch day of September 14th has been selected. JAXA hopes to place the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) into orbit. (FYI looks like they took a few liberties with the acronym to make it spell SPRINT :^).

The SPRINT-A mission will gather data on the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars to further understanding of how they are impacted by the solar wind. In addition SPRINT-A will also perform an observation of extreme ultraviolet light from the satellite Io of the Jupiter, and examines how to transfer energy in the plasma environment of the Jupiter from an observation of a sulfur ion flowing out from Io.


Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) is the world’s first space telescope for remote observation of the planets such as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter from the orbit around the earth. Image credit JAXA

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is investigating the cause of an automatic stop alarm issued approximately 19 seconds prior to liftoff during the Epsilon-1 launch countdown operation on August 27, 2013.

Japans plans to use their next-generation solid fuel rocket to reform the way launches are done and improve the efficency of launch systems.. JAXA states that the time needed for the operation of ground facilities and launches is cut to about one fourth of the time required for the M-V Launch Vehicle.

You can watch a live broadcast of the launch here http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/epsilon/live_e.html.

Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A

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Recipient of many prestigious NASA Awards including the Exceptional Public Service Medal and the Robert H. Goddard award. Experience includes working for NASA, as a contractor, in satellite design, construction and operations. Expert in the satellite operations concepts and ground systems including command, control, and science data processing.