New version of Epsilon launches Van Allen belt research satellite for Japan

by | Dec 21, 2016 | JAXA, Launches, Satellites, Science | 0 comments

The Japanese space agency JAXA has launched a new version of its Epsilon launch vehicle called Epsilon 2 which uses upgraded second and third stages. The launch took place from Kagoshima (Uchinora Space Centre) at 1100 GMT on 20 December.

On board was a satellite called ERG which was accurately placed into a highly elliptical orbit of 32,259 km x 228 km at an inclination of 31.4 degrees (figures from Stratcom via Jonathan McDowell).

The ERG (Exploration of Energization and Radiation in Geospace) mission is designed to pass through the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts and use its instruments and 30 m long antennae to measure the interaction of the Earth’s magnetic fields with charged particles and any waves produced. The spacecraft has the alternative Japanese name “Arase” meaning rough water.

The launch was the first of the new Epsilon 2 variant. The first stage of both the Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2 launch vehicles use a modified SRB-A3 solid rocket booster taken from the H-2A rocket.

While second stage of the Epsilon 1 launcher used a modified version of the solid-propellant third stage of the M-V launcher, called M-34c, the second stage of the Epsilon 2 uses a larger M-35 solid rocket engine with a fixed nozzle.
The third stage of the Epsilon 1 launcher is called KM-V2b. This is a solid-propellant, modified version of the fourth (kick motor) stage used on the M-V launcher. The third stage of the Epsilon 2 uses the KM-V2c solid engine but has a fixed nozzle instead of the KM-V2b’s extendable one. The third stage is designed to tumble after separation to reduce the chance of collision with payload or fourth stage.

While the earlier launch of the Epsilon 1 was in a four stage configuration using the optional Compact Liquid Propulsion Stage (CLPS), this flight only used three stages.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

All I ask is a tall rocket, and a pad to launch her by.

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight industry blog that sees Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger take a, sometimes, wry look Read more

After that Sputnik induced hangover, some soothing news bites

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

A constellation of… links to those snappy news bites

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Asian lunar space race!!

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Asian lunar love-in

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Anti-gravity and all that easy stuff

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Far from the warmth of the Sun

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

DARPA’s SUMO – the future of anti-satellite weapons

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Categories

Archives