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August 26 – September 1, 2013 / Vol 32, No 34 / Hawai`i Island, USA

23 Aug 2013, 20:43 UTC
August 26 – September 1, 2013 / Vol 32, No 34 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Japan 1st Launch of Epsilon Rocket with SPRINT-A Telescope

The first JAXA Epsilon rocket (Epsilon-1) is scheduled to launch the SPRINT-A/EXCEED telescope on August 27 from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan. The 24.4-meter tall, three-stage solid propellant rocket capable of launching 1,200 kg into LEO, is a follow-on to the larger, more expensive M-V rocket which was retired in 2006. An M-V launch typically cost US$70M. Epsilon-1 launch totals $45M. Epsilon uses solid rocket boosters from the H-IIA rocket for the first stage and existing M-V upper stages for the second and third stage. The 320-kg Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) / EXtreme ultraviolet spectrosCope for ExosphEric Dynamics (EXCEED) telescope developed by JAXA is the first in the SPRINT small scientific satellite series. It will make observations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) rays. It will study the interaction of solar wind with the upper atmosphere of the planets and how it contributes to atmospheric loss at Venus and Mars. By monitoring Jupiter’s moon Io, SPRINT-A will also study how sulfur and oxygen ions flowing from Io affect the rapidly rotating magnetosphere of Jupiter. Pictured SPRINT Project Manager ...

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