JAXA Delays Inaugural Epsilon Launch

epsilon_illustrationTOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to postpone the launch of the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) on board to August 27, 2013, from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch was originally scheduled for August 22, 2013 from the center.


Japan Sets August for Maiden Flight of New Epsilon Rocket

Artist conception of Epsilon rocket (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognitionof Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) by the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) in the following schedule.

Launch date: August 22 (Thursday.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time)
Launch time: between 1:30 p.m. through 2:30 p.m. (JST)*
Launch window: Aug. 23 (Fri) through Sept. 30 (Mon.), 2013
Launch site: Uchinoura Space Center


Meet Japan’s New Epsilon Rocket

Epsilon rocket (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA has spent the last six years developing a new small satellite launch vehicle designed to be launched much quicker and significantly cheaper than its retired predecessor, the M-V rocket. The solid-fuel Epsilon launch vehicle, which will be capable of placing up to 1.2 metric tons into low Earth orbit, is set for its maiden flight in August or September of this year.

The following information is taken from the JAXA website.

The Epsilon Launch Vehicle is a solid propellant rocket suitable for a new age, delivering both high performance and low cost. Based on the M-V Launch Vehicle, a multistage solid propellant rocket with the best performance in the world (discontinued in 2006), we try to achieve improved performance with the Epsilon Launch Vehicle, and build a system which will allow the frequent launch of launch vehicles by largely-reducing operational costs through enhancing aspects of operational efficiency, such as assembly and inspection.

Through increased launch opportunities, we anticipate that space development activity will increase. The biggest goal of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle is to make space more accessible as rocket launches are made easier.