Blogarchiv
Raumfahrt - JAXA´s H-II-Epsilon-1-Rakete Update: Erfolgreicher Start 14.September 2013

.

21.05.2013

Mission-Update:

Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI4" (HTV4) 
Aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to launch the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 (H-IIB F4) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI4" (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard in the following schedule.
Scheduled date of launch: August 4 (Sunday), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST)
Launch time: around 4:48 a.m. (JST)*1
Launch windows: Aug. 5 (Mon.) through Sept. 30 (Mon.), 2013 (JST)*2
Launch Site: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center
(*1) Time will be determined by the updated orbit of the International Space Station (ISS.) 
(*2) The launch day and time during the launch windows shall be decided by the international coordination for ISS operations.
.
Launch of 
Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognitionof 
Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) 
by Epsilon-1
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
.
n addition to the Japanese flag of the Rising-Sun flag and the JAXA logo on the front and back on the upper part of the first stage, we came up with an original design while inheriting and developing the heritage of the solid-fuel launch vehicle. 
Your messages will form part of the red line as strings of characters. 
[Design concept] 
We express our development and progress of our solid-fuel launch vehicle heritage by the logo design from the bottom toward the top. 
(1) Vertical line (thin line): showing our one-step-up evolution and streamlining from our conventional development policy 
(2) Logo: sharp lines and a big E emphasize "Epsilon (ε)" 
(3) Star mark: indicating our strong desire and intention to probe planets 
(4) Vertical line (thick line): shows our magnificent history from the Pencil Rocket through the M-V Launch Vehicle. 
(5) Zone line (all around the launch vehicle): our traditional coloring with two colors for our solid-fuel launch vehicles.
.
Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) is the world's first space telescope for remote observation of the planets such as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter from the orbit around the earth. 
Venus and Earth may be called twins planet, and it recently becomes clear that three terrestrial planets in the solar system including Mars have very similar environment in the beginning era of the solar system. However, in three planets, which could be called the brothers, during the finite period within one billion years after the birth of the solar system each environment evolution of growth and change results into the different and specific current state. At Venus, it became the very dry atmosphere consisting mainly of carbon dioxide as a result that water ran away to outer space, and it is now the scorching world where the temperature of its surface reaches 400 degrees Celsius by the strong greenhouse effect. On the other hand, in Mars, most of atmospheric carbon component producing the greenhouse effect run away to outer space, and it is now in the chilly world.
In the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) mission, the mechanism that the atmosphere of these terrestrial planets runs away to outer space is one of scientific objectives. Because in the beginning era of the solar system the sun had more intensely activity than the present, and because the very strong solar wind arrived at the planet, it is in particular thought that a large quantity of atmosphere ran away. The study on interaction of the strong solar wind on the atmosphere of the planet leads to acquiring knowledge of history in the early stage of the solar system. 
Furthermore, Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) will also perform an observation of extreme ultraviolet light from the satellite Io of the Jupiter, and examines how to transfer energy in the plasma environment of the Jupiter from an observation of a sulfur ion flowing out from Io. 
.
As part of our research on the next-generation solid propellant rocket, we plan to reduce the cost by a third of that for the former M-V Launch Vehicle. However, we are not only thinking about cost reductions. Our ultimate goal is to lower hurdles to space by developing a space transportation system suitable for a new age and by making rocket launches much simpler. Additionally, we will be able to meet the wide range of demands for rocket launches by operating the H-IIA and H-IIB Launch Vehicles as well.
Innovation of the launch system
For the next-generation solid fuel rocket, we plan to reform the launch system and improve the operation performance to the highest global standard by utilizing innovative ideas far beyond a simple combination of existing technologies. For example, we will reduce the time needed for the operation of ground facilities and launches to about one fourth of the time required for the M-V Launch Vehicle. To do this, we will make the vehicle perform checks onboard and autonomously and reduce the time required for operations on the ground. Ultimately, through internet, we will be able to check and control rockets anywhere in the world simply by using a laptop computer. We are planning to realize the world, where the launch control system is not necessarily at the launch site anymore. Such an innovative concept for a new solid propellant rocket will become a good model for future launch systems involving a liquid fuel rocket.
Making rocket launches as simple as daily events
Currently, onboard equipment is custom made to suit each rocket. Assuming that the rocket was a personal computer, onboard equipment for the rocket would correspond to the computer peripherals and are unique to that specific rocket. For our new rocket, we are aiming as much as possible to develop onboard equipment that can be shared with a family of rockets. For example, we are thinking of connecting onboard equipment through a high-speed network. Hence, if we use common interfaces on them, we can freely add or change equipment, or even put them on a different rocket just like computer peripherals. In other words, launching the rocket is just like using a computer. The launch of the rocket will become much easier, just like daily events. This dream era, where we can become much closer to space, is only a few steps away.
.
* The scheduled launch time range is for the launch on Aug. 22, 2013. The time range will rescheduled every day within the above range if the launch day is shifted. 
JAXA held the Epsilon-1 message campaign for posting messages on our new launch vehicle between April 10 and May 7, 2013. We have received 5,812 messages (of which 5,360 are in Japanese, and 452 are in other languages.) Thank you very much for your participation. The design of the Epsilon-1, where your messages will be incorporated, was decided, and we would like to show you here in the following attachment.
.
Und CENAP ist dabei:
.
.
Quelle: JAXA
.
Update: 26.06.2013 JAXA-Bestätigung für CENAP-Gruss an Epsilon-Rakete
.
.
.
.Update: 1.08.2013
 
-
.
.
.
.
.
Quelle: JAXA
.
Update: 9.08.2013.
.

Launch Postponement and Launch Time Change
for Epsilon Launch Vehicle
with SPRINT-A onboard

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) onboard to August 27, 2013,?from the Uchinoura Space Center as JAXA has taken extra time to rectify the incompatibility* found in the ground support equipment during the communication function test between the Epsilon-1 and the equipment in the course of launch campaign at the launch site. The launch was originally scheduled for August 22, 2013 from the center.

JAXA made sure that the same incompatibility would not recur through a reconfirmation, and no problem was found.

* JAXA found an incorrect line routing in the signal relay equipment for checking the launch vehicle functions, and it has been rectified.

Aside from the above incompatibility, the launch time window was also changed to 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. from the previously set window of 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. as a result of the latest flight trajectory analysis by considering relative positions between the SPRINT-A and the sun after its separation from the Epsilon-1.

Scheduled launch day: August 27 (Tue.) 2013
Scheduled launch time window: 1:45 thru 2:30 p.m.
Launch window: between Aug. 28 (Wed.) thru Sept. 30 (Mon.), 2013
Launch site: Uchinoura Space Center

* All dates and times are Japan Standard Time.
Quelle: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
.
Update: 10.08.2013
.
JAXA puts off Epsilon launch until Aug. 27


Jiji Press The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Thursday it has postponed the Aug. 22 launch of its new solid-fuel rocket, called Epsilon, until Aug. 27 due to an error in the ground control system.

The Epsilon rocket with an observation satellite is now scheduled to be launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture between 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. that day.
Quelle: JAXA
.
Update: 20.08.2013

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Tuesday unveiled its new solid-fuel rocket Epsilon before its launch with a scientific satellite next week.

Epsilon, a three-stage rocket with 24.4 meter in length, 2.6 meters in diameter and 91 ton in weight, is to be launched from the state-run agency's Uchinoura Space Center in southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima.

The rocket is a successor of the M-5 rocket that was retired in 2006 and is planned to carry a telescope named SPRINT-A, world's first space telescope for remote observation of planets.

The agency originally scheduled to launch the rocket Thursday but postponed until next Tuesday due to wrong wiring in communication equipment.

.

Update: 22.08.2013

Yesterday, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), for the first time, unveiled their Epsilon rocket and began launch rehearsal in preparation for a scheduled August 27th launch.

Epsilon is a low-cost, high-performance, solid-fuel rocket co-developed by JAXA and IHI AEROSPACE Co.,Ltd. and designed to launch scientific satellites.

Epsilon features the world's first innovative launch system called "Mobile Launch Control" which allows for built-in checks to be conducted autonomously within the rocket's system.  This allows staff to focus on high-level monitoring, making overall performance very smooth.

A spokesman joked that it is so easy to control that staff could monitor the rocket on their laptops while at Starbucks.

Quelle: Akihabara-News

 .

Update: 26.08.2013

.

First Flight of Japanese 'Artificial Intelligence' Rocket Set for Tuesday

 

The SPRINT-A satellite undergoes final checkout, ahead of its scheduled launch aboard the first Epsilon rocket. Photo Credit: JAXA/ISAS

.

More than five decades of rocketry from Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture will continue on Tuesday, 27 August with the maiden voyage of the new Epsilon vehicle to insert an ultraviolet observatory into low-Earth orbit to observe Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. The 700-pound Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) will utilize an extreme ultraviolet spectrometer and guiding camera and will spend about a year in orbit. Yet as exciting as this scientific payload may be, the Epsilon itself carries much promise for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The rocket’s project manager has described it as a vehicle which will literally “open up the future.”

The 78-foot-tall Epsilon vehicle marries one Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) from the H-IIA rocket as its first stage with upper-stage hardware from the 2006-retired M-V rocket. As a launcher, it is reportedly capable of transporting up to 2,600 pounds of payload into low-Earth orbit. Originally scheduled to fly on 22 August from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, its launch date was postponed by five days, earlier this month, as JAXA required additional time to resolve a problem surrounding an incorrect line routing in the signal relay equipment used to check Epsilon’s critical functions. Current plans place the launch within a 45-minute “window” from 1:45-2:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time (12:45-1:30 a.m. EDT) on 27 August.

More than five decades of rocketry from Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture will continue on Tuesday, 27 August with the maiden voyage of the new Epsilon vehicle to insert an ultraviolet observatory into low-Earth orbit to observe Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. The 700-pound Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) will utilize an extreme ultraviolet spectrometer and guiding camera and will spend about a year in orbit. Yet as exciting as this scientific payload may be, the Epsilon itself carries much promise for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The rocket’s project manager has described it as a vehicle which will literally “open up the future.”

The 78-foot-tall Epsilon vehicle marries one Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) from the H-IIA rocket as its first stage with upper-stage hardware from the 2006-retired M-V rocket. As a launcher, it is reportedly capable of transporting up to 2,600 pounds of payload into low-Earth orbit. Originally scheduled to fly on 22 August from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, its launch date was postponed by five days, earlier this month, as JAXA required additional time to resolve a problem surrounding an incorrect line routing in the signal relay equipment used to check Epsilon’s critical functions. Current plans place the launch within a 45-minute “window” from 1:45-2:30 p.m. Japan Standard Time (12:45-1:30 a.m. EDT) on 27 August.

Moving forward from desktop and laptop computers, it is Morita’s hope that by 2017 the Epsilon will be in a position to “monitor and judge its own flight safety autonomously, so that we can remove the radar and antenna used to track and send commands to the rocket.” By assigning further artificial intelligence assets to the vehicle—including the capability to act as its own Range Safety Officer and destroy itself in the event of off-nominal events—the Epsilon will eliminate the need for expensive, ground-based hardware and further simplify launch and tracking facilities.

As the maiden flight of the Epsilon, Tuesday’s mission has attracted a great deal of publicity, both in Japan and around the world. In April-May 2013, it was the subject of a New Launch Vehicle Message Posting Campaign. Some 5,812 messages—the vast majority in Japanese and a few hundred in other languages—were received as part of an effort to share individuals’ “expectations, hopes, dreams, or feelings toward our new launch vehicle.” JAXA then processed these messages into strings of small letters on the Epsilon itself, in order to “make people feel more familiar with space, gaining more understanding of and support for space programs.” According to JAXA, this was a key goal of the Epsilon project.

Testing and processing of the new rocket has gone relatively smoothly, with its upper stage motor static-fired in September 2011 to evaluate the performance of insulation material, followed by last October’s extension test of the second stage motor nozzle. More recently, in April 2013, it was reported that a full-scale model of Epsilon had been transferred from the maintenance tower to the launch pad to demonstrate rollout and other pre-launch protocols.
Liftoff on Tuesday will begin with the ignition of the first-stage’s Nissan-built solid motor, producing an estimated 505,000 pounds of thrust. This will burn for about two minutes, after which the second stage—a modified version of the M-V’s M-34 upper stage, also solid-fueled, with an extendible nozzle—will pick up the thrust for 104 seconds to execute the next stage of the rocket’s climb to orbit. The third stage, based upon the KM-V2b upper stage from the M-V, will then fire for approximately 91 seconds, after which a hydrazine-fed small liquid propulsion system will provide the final boost. According to JAXA’s Epsilon press kit, this final stage will perform two burns and SPRINT-A will be separated from the vehicle about 61 minutes after launch.
The satellite is expected to operate for about a year in an orbit of 590-715 miles, inclined 31 degrees to the equator, from which it will observe the magnetospheric environments of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. “Capturing the extreme ultraviolet rays emitted from a planet and its periphery, which cannot be observed from the ground, allows us to collect information on the atmosphere that flows into space and the magnetosphere covering the planet,” noted JAXA in its SPRINT-A mission brochure. “This enables us to analyze the composition of the atmosphere and the behavior of the magnetosphere. Our primary theme is each planet’s magnetosphere, the region where the magnetic field of a planet has influence.” Jupiter’s magnetic field is 10,000 times stronger than that of Earth and rotates on its axis at a high rate of around 10 hours per cycle, whereas those of Venus and Mars are far weaker. SPRINT-A will focus on the interactions between planetary magnetospheres and the solar wind.
.
Update: 27.08.2013
.
Launch Cancellation of Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A Onboard
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cancelled today's launch of the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard from the Uchinoura Space Center, because an automatic stop alarm was issued as an attitude abnormality was detected approximately 19 seconds prior to the liftoff time during the automatic countdown sequence. The launch had been originally scheduled for 1:45:00 p.m. today (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA is currently investigating the cause.
Quelle: JAXA

 

.

Update: 29.08.2013

.

Computerfehler bei der Boden Leitstelle verhinderte den Start von Epsilon-1

Glitch behind suspended Epsilon launch
Tuesday’s last-minute cancellation of the first launch of the new Epsilon solid-fuel rocket was due to a computer glitch at the ground control center, in which an error was mistakenly identified in the rocket’s positioning.
On Tuesday evening, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency President Naoki Okumura apologized for the glitch at the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, where the rocket was scheduled to blast off at 1:45 p.m
“I regret that JAXA failed to launch the rocket as scheduled, bringing disappointment to the nation and organizations involved,” Okumura said.
According to JAXA, it made a final decision to launch the rocket at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, as it found no problems in terms of preparation and weather conditions. The automated launch system was activated 70 seconds before the planned launch, and necessary processes were started. However, the system automatically shut down 19 seconds before launch.
According to JAXA project manager Yasuhiro Morita, the fourth-stage engine in the upper part of the Epsilon that is used to put a satellite in orbit, is equipped with a sensor that detects positioning errors.
The rocket’s computer system starts calculating the rocket’s position based on data collected by the sensor 20 seconds before a launch. The results are then sent to a computer system at the ground control center, which judges whether the rocket is positioned correctly.
On Tuesday, the calculation started 20 seconds before the launch, as scheduled, but the ground control computer determined the rocket was incorrectly positioned one second later based on data sent from the rocket’s computer. An incorrectly positioned rocket cannot maintain a planned flight path.
However, JAXA said its remote monitoring system did not detect a positioning error.
Morita said there could have been trouble in the data transmission between the rocket and ground control. The space agency plans to examine the relevant computer hardware and software in detail.
JAXA found no abnormalities when it conducted a simulated launch a week ago. The simulation is usually halted 18 seconds before a launch because the battery for the first-stage engine is activated 15 seconds before a launch, thus requiring battery replacement and other work. JAXA will examine whether there were any problems during the simulation.
Aborted rocket launches are not unusual. In 2000, the countdown for the launch of M5 rocket-4, the predecessor of the Epsilon, was suspended one minute before launch due to connection trouble in the computer system that tracks the rocket’s flight course.
Regarding Tuesday’s cancellation, Daido University President Akira Sawaoka, an expert on space development, said data may have interfered with each other, resulting in the detection of an error, since various types of data are transmitted prior to a launch.
Quelle: The Japan News
.
Update: 31.08.2013
.

Suspended JAXA rocket launch attributed to signal delay

The recent suspension of the much-awaited launch of a new rocket model in Kagoshima Prefecture was attributed to the failure of its automatic body inspection system, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Aug. 30.

The Epsilon rocket was scheduled to have been launched from the Uchinoura Space Center on Aug. 27.

The rocket’s automatic body inspection system is a groundbreaking feature that enables a control room computer to prompt a computer mounted on the rocket to measure the orientation of the rocket body with its sensors. After receiving calculation output from the onboard computer, the control room computer automatically decides whether to go ahead with the launch.

But that new feature backfired.

During preparations for the launch, the activation signal incurred an unforeseen delay of 0.07 second in passing through two processors. That caused the returning signal to arrive behind schedule, preventing the computer in the control center from receiving the signal within the prescribed time frame.

That led the computer in the control center to determine that the rocket had an anomalous orientation, according to JAXA officials.

JAXA officials said they hope to reschedule the launch at an earliest possible date in September.

Quelle: JAXA

Update: 9.09.2013
New Launch Day Information for Epsilon-1 : September 14, 2013 (Japan Standard Time) 
with SPRINT-A Onboard

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) onboard on August 27 from the Uchinoura Space Center. 

As a result of our cause investigation of the postponement and re-examination of the Epsilon-1, the new launch date will be September 14, 2013 (Japan Standard Time) or later.

Quelle: JAXA

.

Update: 10.09.2013

.

Launch rehearsed for new rocket
KAGOSHIMA – Japan’s space agency said Monday the launch of its new Epsilon rocket has been rescheduled for Saturday.
The Epsilon, Japan’s first new rocket in 12 years, is expected to blast off between 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.
JAXA conducted a launch rehearsal Sunday after the Epsilon’s initial liftoff was postponed by a glitch late last month.
The rehearsal at Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture “went well” for the solid-fuel rocket, an official of the state-run agency said.
The Epsilon launch was canceled 19 seconds before liftoff on Aug. 28 after an abnormality in the rocket’s posture was detected. It was later found to be normal.A time lag of 0.07 second in the transmission of data from computers aboard the rocket to the ground control center was the cause of the trouble.
Sunday’s rehearsal was carried out until 5 seconds before liftoff.
Quelle: The Japan Times

.

Update: 13.09.2013

Japan's Epsilon Rocket Stands Ready for Maiden Launch on Saturday

Three weeks after “an attitude abnormality” forced its first launch attempt to be scrubbed, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is ready to fly its first Epsilon rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. According to JAXA, the new vehicle will liftoff at 1:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time (12:45 a.m. EDT) Saturday 14 September, at the opening of a 45-minute “launch window”. The Epsilon-1 mission will transport the 700-pound Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) into low-Earth orbit to observe Venus, Mars and Jupiter with a battery of ultraviolet spectrometers and guiding cameras.

Originally scheduled to fly on 27 August, Epsilon-1 was postponed when “an automatic stop alarm was issued as an attitude abnormality was detected approximately 19 seconds prior to the liftoff time, during the automatic countdown sequence”. In the aftermath of the scrub, JAXA engineers set to work tackling the cause of the problem and on 5 and 8 September conducted a pair of launch simulations to resolve a “time-synching” glitch between the ground and on-board computers. The results appear to have been successful, for on Thursday 12 September JAXA announced the new Saturday launch target date.

Described by its Project Manager as a vehicle which will literally “open up the future”, the Epsilon stands 78 feet tall and marries one Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) from Japan’s H-IIA rocket with upper-stage hardware from the 2006-retired M-V launcher. The Epsilon is reportedly capable of lofting up to 2,600 pounds of payload into low-Earth orbit, but its maiden flight was already delayed by five days past 22 August, as JAXA needed additional time to resolve a problem surrounding an incorrect line routing in the signal relay equipment used to check the rocket’s critical functions. The launch attempt on 27 August proceeded relatively smoothly until the last-minute scrub.

It is the cost savings – estimated to be about 30 percent better than the M-V – which JAXA is particularly keen to stress about the new Epsilon. Saturday’s flight is estimated to cost in the region of 5.3 billion yen ($53 million), significantly lower than the 7 billion yen ($70 million) for an M-V, and such savings have been made primarily through the streamlining of launch procedures. It is anticipated that subsequent Epsilon launches may bring costs still lower, into the 3.0-3.8 billion yen ($30-38 million) bracket.

Japan has been flying solid-fueled “pencil” rockets since the mid-1950s and Epsilon stands firmly upon the shoulders of previous titans, as well as utilizing new, cutting-edge technology. “We aim to greatly simplify the launch system by using artificial intelligence,” said Project Manager Yasuhiro Morita, quoted in a JAXA interview. Morita is a professor in the Department of Space Systems and Astronautics with the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), a subdivision of JAXA. “Today, a typical scenario is hundreds of people assembling at the launch center and working for several months in preparation for a launch. On the day of the launch, dozens of people are in the control room, monitoring every aspect. The Epsilon launch vehicle will drastically change this picture.” By running autonomous health and other checks, supported by artificial intelligence, it is hoped that control personnel with ultimately be able to run the whole show from a pair of laptop computers.

“Rockets use technology from many generations ago,” explained Morita, “so they are like a showcase of deficiencies. There has long been a notion that new technology should be tested over an extended period of time before being used in actual launch vehicles. Consequently, the latest artificial intelligence applications have not yet been employed in rockets. The Epsilon launch vehicle will be the first rocket with artificial intelligence that will perform checks and monitor its own operation autonomously.”

Moving forward from desktop and laptop computers, it is Morita’s hope that by 2017 the Epsilon will be in a position to “monitor and judge its own flight safety autonomously, so that we can remove the radar and antenna used to track and send commands to the rocket.” By assigning further artificial intelligence assets to the vehicle—including the capability to act as its own Range Safety Officer and destroy itself in the event of off-nominal events—the Epsilon will eliminate the need for expensive, ground-based hardware and further simplify launch and tracking facilities.

As the maiden flight of the Epsilon, Saturday’s mission has attracted a great deal of publicity, both in Japan and around the world. In April-May 2013, it was the subject of a New Launch Vehicle Message Posting Campaign. Some 5,812 messages—the vast majority in Japanese and a few hundred in other languages—were received as part of an effort to share individuals’ “expectations, hopes, dreams, or feelings toward our new launch vehicle.” JAXA then processed these messages into strings of small letters on the Epsilon itself, in order to “make people feel more familiar with space, gaining more understanding of and support for space programs.” According to JAXA, this was a key goal of the Epsilon project.

Testing and processing of the new rocket has gone relatively smoothly, with its upper stage motor static-fired in September 2011 to evaluate the performance of insulation material, followed by last October’s extension test of the second stage motor nozzle. More recently, in April 2013, it was reported that a full-scale model of Epsilon had been transferred from the maintenance tower to the launch pad to demonstrate rollout and other pre-launch protocols.

Liftoff on Saturday will begin with the ignition of the first-stage’s Nissan-built solid motor, producing an estimated 505,000 pounds of thrust. This will burn for about two minutes, after which the second stage—a modified version of the M-V’s M-34 upper stage, also solid-fueled, with an extendible nozzle—will pick up the thrust for 104 seconds to execute the next stage of the rocket’s climb to orbit. The third stage, based upon the KM-V2b upper stage from the M-V, will then fire for approximately 91 seconds, after which a hydrazine-fed small liquid propulsion system will provide the final boost. According to JAXA’s Epsilon press kit, this final stage will perform two burns and SPRINT-A will be separated from the vehicle about 61 minutes after launch.

The satellite is expected to operate for about a year in an orbit of 590-715 miles, inclined 31 degrees to the equator, from which it will observe the magnetospheric environments of Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. “Capturing the extreme ultraviolet rays emitted from a planet and its periphery, which cannot be observed from the ground, allows us to collect information on the atmosphere that flows into space and the magnetosphere covering the planet,” noted JAXA in its SPRINT-A mission brochure. “This enables us to analyze the composition of the atmosphere and the behavior of the magnetosphere. Our primary theme is each planet’s magnetosphere, the region where the magnetic field of a planet has influence.” Jupiter’s magnetic field is 10,000 times stronger than that of Earth and rotates on its axis at a high rate of around 10 hours per cycle, whereas those of Venus and Mars are far weaker. SPRINT-A will focus on the interactions between planetary magnetospheres and the solar wind.

Quelle: American Space

-

New Launch Date and Time
for Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A Onboard

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that we have set the launch date and time of the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard as follows.

Scheduled launch day: September 14 (Saturday), 2013
Scheduled launch time: 1:45:00 p.m.
Scheduled launch time window: 1:45 thru 2:30 p.m.

* All date and times are Japan Standard Time.
Quelle: JAXA

.

Update: 14.09.2013

.

 

Launch Result of Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A aboard

September 14, 2013 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 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. on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora 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.

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.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard at 14:00 on September 14 (Sat.), 2013 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Uchinouora Space Center.

.

Contents :

 

Quelle: JAXA    

.

 

Update: 17.09.2013 

HISAKI (SPRINT-A) 

 

Orbit Calculation Result and 

 

Critical Operation Period Completion

 

September 15, 2013 (JST)

 

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

 

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere "HISAKI" (SPRINT-A) was injected into the planned orbit after its orbit calculation as follows. 

 

Orbit Calculation Result

 

Actual value Planned value

 

Apogee altitude 1156.8 km 1150 km

 

Perigee altitude 946.8 km 950 km

 

Inclination 29.7 deg 30 deg

 

Period 106.2 min 106 min

 

We have now completed the critical operation period for the HISAKI (SPRINT-A) after we successfully performed essential events including the planned orbit insertion, solar array paddle deployment, and sun acquisition. 

 

JAXA will take about two months to further confirm the status of the HISAKI (SPRINT-A) such as verifying the high-precision attitude control function that is imperative for planet observations. 

 

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the parties and personnel concerned for their support and cooperation with the HISAKI (SPRINT-A) launch and tracking control operations.
Quelle: JAXA

 

 

 

 

3996 Views