JAXA Celebrates Successful Maiden Flight of New Epsilon Launch Vehicle

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 2:00 p.m. JST on September 14, 2013 from the Uchinoura Space Center.

The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 61 minutes and 39 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the SPRINT-A was confirmed.

JAXA has confirmed that the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) has deployed its solar array paddles (SAPs) normally at 15:49 p.m. today through data received at the Uchinoura Ground Station. The satellite is currently in good health.

The SPRINT-A’s nickname was also decided. It is “HISAKI” The name was chosen for the following reasons.

(1) “Hisaki” is the name of a cape in the Uchinoura area. (The cape at the tip of the Tsushiro Peninsula.)

  • It is the first brightened point by the rising sun in the Uchinoura area, thus the place is a symbol of a new day in Uchinoura.
  • It is also a place for local fishermen to pray for safety hence it is a symbol of safe navigation for boats leaving Uchinoura.
  • As it is a tip shape, it reminds us of the satellite configuration.

(2) Our observation targets are beyond (“saki” in Japanese) the sun (“Hi” in Japanese).

We would like to express our profound appreciation for the cooperation and support of all related personnel and organizations that helped contribute to the launch of the Epsilon-1.

At the time of the launch, the weather was cloudy, a wind speed was 8.1 meters/second from the east-north-east and the temperature was 27.2 degrees Celsius.

Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1)
Launch Sequence (Quick Review)

EventActual value
(Quick review)
Predicted value based on
actual measurement data
1. Liftoff
2. First stage solid motor burnout*
3. Payload fairing separation
4. First and second stages separation
5. Second stage solid motor ignition
6. Second stage solid motor burnout*
7. Second and Third stages separation
8. Third stage solid motor ignition
9. Third stage solid motor burnout*
10. Third stage/Post Boost Stage (PBS) separation
11. PBS propulsion system first ignition
12. PBS propulsion system first cutoff
13. PBS propulsion system second ignition
14. PBS propulsion system second cutoff
15. SPRINT-A separation
0 min. 0 sec.
1 min. 54 sec.
2 min. 31 sec.
2 min. 40 sec.
2 min. 45 sec.
4 min. 24 sec.
10 min. 23 sec.
10 min. 27 sec.
11 min. 56 sec.
16 min. 47 sec.
21 min. 26 sec.
25 min. 53 sec.
54 min. 24 sec.
59 min. 19 sec.
61 min. 39 sec.
0 min. 0 sec.
1 min. 52 sec.
2 min. 30 sec.
2 min. 41 sec.
2 min. 45 sec.
4 min. 27 sec.
10 min. 24 sec.
10 min. 28 sec.
11 min. 57 sec.
16 min. 48 sec.
19 min. 8 sec.
29 min. 58 sec.
53 min. 50 sec.
60 min. 30 sec.
61 min. 40 sec.

*1 The values are based on quick report results before detailed data evaluation.