Japan sends 9 satellites into space
Posted: 2021-Nov-10 10.16.50 UTC+0800
ISTANBUL — Japan on Tuesday sent into space at least nine satellites aboard the Epsilon rocket, the country's space agency said.
The satellites will help Japan promote involvement by educational institutions and companies in space development, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.
Satellites aboard the Epsilon-5 rocket, costing some $51 million, were launched from Uchinoura Space Center in the country's southwestern Kagoshima province, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.
The launch of the satellites was postponed thrice since October due to technical and other reasons.
The satellites will collect space debris besides a survey of natural radio waves emitted by Jupiter.
It was in 2019 when JAXA used an Epsilon rocket to launch seven satellites.
The low-cost, smaller in size rocket uses solid fuel which takes less time to load on rockets than liquid propellant.
"Its artificial intelligence technology is designed to cut labor and launch costs," according to JAXA.
Meanwhile, JAXA said in a separate statement that four astronauts, including Hoshide Akihiko, 52, returned to Earth on Monday night aboard Crew Dragon spacecraft (Crew-2) after they completed the long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS).
They spent about 200 days in space.
The Crew-2 splashed down off the coast of Florida, the US, completing the third manned round-trip voyage of its kind to the ISS.
Space capsule Crew-2 was developed by US Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX.
Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency were three other astronauts who accompanied their Japanese mate to space. (PNA)