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First launch of Japanese small rocket is a success
Posted: Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 10:25 AM ET (1425 GMT)
Epsilon-1 launch of SPRINT-A (JAXA) A new Japanese small launch vehicle successfully placed a science satellite into orbit on its inaugural launch Saturday. The Epsilon-1 rocket lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan at 1:00 am EDT (0500 GMT, 2:00 pm Japan time) Saturday. The launch proceeded as planned, and a little more than an hour after launch, the Epsilon released its payload, the SPRINT-A satellite. The launch was the first for the Epsilon, a three-stage solid-propellant rocket that replaces the M-V rocket that JAXA retired several years ago. The Epsilon is designed to be highly automated, and also less expensive than its predecessor. The launch was planned for late August but postponed because of a computer glitch. SPRINT-A, renamed Hisaki after launch, is designed to perform spectroscopic observations of other planets in our solar system from Earth orbit.
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