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  JAXA's SS-520 orbital-class sounding rocket

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Author Topic:   JAXA's SS-520 orbital-class sounding rocket
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 39657
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-15-2017 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) first and only attempt at launching the world's lightest and smallest orbital-class rocket ended on Saturday (Jan. 14) with in its payload falling into the sea, The Japan Times reports.
JAXA terminated a satellite launch in mid-flight Sunday after a communications malfunction forced the space agency to abort ignition of the host rocket's second stage.

The No. 4 vehicle of the SS-520 rocket series lifted off at 8:33 a.m. from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture carrying a miniature Earth observation satellite, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The rocket was touted as the smallest one capable of launching a satellite.

But the agency aborted ignition of the second stage three minutes into the launch after discovering a glitch in the communications system. The rocket and its tiny payload then tumbled into the sea.

"It's very regrettable. We'd like to determine the cause" of the failure, said Hiroto Habu, an associate professor at JAXA, said later in the day.

The space agency said the rocket stopped sending signals to its operations center just 20 seconds after liftoff. It has no further plans to launch a rocket of this size, it said.

The solid fuel SS-520-4 stood 31 feet tall (9.5 meters), 1.7 feet (0.52 m) in diameter and weighed 2.9 tons (2.6 metric tons). Its payload, the cubesat TRICOM-1, weighed about 6.6 lbs. (3 kilograms) and measured just 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) in length and width and 13.8 inches (35 cm) in height. TRICOM-1 was designed by students to photograph the Earth and run communications experiments.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 39657
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-03-2018 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After stating last year that it had no plans to attempt such a launch again, JAXA on Saturday (Feb. 3) succeeded on placing a small cubesat into orbit atop the SS-520 rocket, setting a record for the world's smallest satellite launcher.

Per Spaceflight Now:

The SS-520-5 rocket lifted off at 0503 GMT (12:03 a.m. EST; 2:03 p.m. Japan Standard Time), the opening of a 10-minute window. It released a small satellite into orbit seven-and-a-half minutes later, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which declared the launch a success...

Standing just 31 feet (9.5 meters) tall and spanning around 20 inches (52 centimeters) in diameter, the SS-520-5 rocket was modest by launcher standards. With Saturday's successful flight, the solid-fueled booster became the smallest rocket to ever put an object in orbit around Earth.

A student-built shoebox-sized CubeSat named TRICOM 1R — weighing in at about 10 pounds (3 kilograms) — was mounted on top of the SS-520-5 rocket for liftoff from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan's Kagoshima prefecture.

All times are CT (US)

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