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H-2A launches Earth science and technology demonstration spacecraft
Posted: Sun, Dec 24, 2017, 4:05 PM ET (2105 GMT)
H-2A launch of GCOM-C, Dec 2017 (JAXA) A Japanese H-2A rocket launched a climate change observation satellite and a technology demonstration spacecraft Saturday. The H-2A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 8:26 pm EST Friday (0126 GMT, 10:26 am local time Saturday). Its primary payload was the Global Change Observation Mission-Climate (GCOM-C) spacecraft, renamed Shikisai after launch. The spacecraft carries visible and infrared instruments to provide surface and atmospheric measurements. The launch also placed into orbit the Super Low Altitude Test Satellite (SLATS), also known as Tsubame. The satellite is designed to fly in an orbit as low as 180 kilometers, using an ion engine to maintain its orbit.
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