A Japanese Epsilon rocket launched a new Earth-observation satellite into space this week, notching a third successful flight for the solid-fueled booster.
The Epsilon rocket lifted off the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Uchinoura Space Center at 6:06 a.m. Japan Standard Time on Jan. 18, JAXA officials said. Just under an hour later, the rocket delivered its payload, the ASNARO-2 radar Earth-observation satellite, into orbit.
"The launch and flight of Epsilon-3 took place normally,"' JAXA officials said in a statement.
The Epsilon booster is a three-stage solidfueled rocket topped with a compact liquid-fueled propulsion system for this Epsilon-3 mission. It is nearly 79 feet tall (24 meters) and can carry payloads of up 1,543 lbs. (700 kilograms) into low-Earth orbit.
For this mission, the Epsilon rocket delivered ASNARO-2 (short for Advanced Small-size Radar Satellite 2) into orbit for Japan's NEC Corporation. The launch had been delayed from November 2017 so engineers could address an incompatibility issue in the booster's electrical system, JAXA officials have said.