The very last launch of the Japanese Epsilon rocket failed

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The very last launch of the Japanese Epsilon rocket failed

Not all orbital rocket launches are successful. On Tuesday, October 11, the Japan experienced it in missing out on its first launch of the year. At 00:50 GMT, a rocket Epsilon Japanese took off from the Uchinoura Space Center to carry out the mission called Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration 3. But unfortunately, the payloads could not be placed in orbit.

At the start of the flight, everything seemed to be going normally. The two floors of the solid fuel rocket functioned nominally. However, we could then hear during the live that there was a problem with the ignition of the third stage engine. Because of this, the mission leaders decided activate the rocket’s self-destruct system.

Japan's Epsilon launcher
JAXA Credits

According to the Japanese media NHK, the JAXA or Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is currently investigating this incident.

The loads transported

According to the information, the main satellite that was to be placed in orbit was called RAISE 3 or Rapid Innovative payload demonstration Satellite 3. It weighed 110 kg and carried 7 payloads intended to test new technologies.

Among these payloads were 2 experimental thrusters, one of which was designed to use water as fuel. There was also a sail system for de-orbiting satellites, a collapsible membrane that can generate power and double as an antenna, telecommunications technology, a high-speed software receiver, and a commercial graphics processing unit. .

In addition to these loads, 5 small cubesats were also on board the 24 m long Epsilon rocket.

The Epsilon launcher

This failed mission is the 6th Epsilon launcher missionand this is the first ever launcher failure. The first 5 launches were made in September 2013, December 2016, January 2018, January 2019, and November 2021.

The last three missions of the Epsilon rocket were part of the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program of JAXA. This program aims to stimulate the development of new Japanese space technologies, especially those developed by universities and private companies.

Regarding the failed launch, we will surely learn more about the causes of the problem in the coming weeks.


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