Epsilon Launch Vehicle Topics

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Sep. 29, 2017 Updated
Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle with ASNARO-2 onboard

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) decided to postpone the launch of the third Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-3) with the Advanced Small-size Radar Satellite (ASNARO-2) on Board to November 12, 2017, from the Uchinoura Space Center.
JAXA will take extra time to rectify the incompatibility found in the electrical system of the Epsilon-3 in the course of launch campaign at the launch site.

The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.

Launch Postponement for Epsilon-3 Launch Vehicle with ASNARO-2 onboard

Sep. 12, 2017 Updated
T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

JAXA announces that the Epsilon 3 launch encapsulating the second Advance Satellite with New System Architecture for Observation (ASNARO-2) is scheduled on November 12, 2017. The launch window is 6 a.m. through 6:35 a.m., in Japan Standard time.
Epsilon launch is not new - the proceeding two were sent up to space. Epsilon 3 has had improved its mechanism for satellite separation. Preparation for the launch is underway.
On the day of the launch, there will be live feed from the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center. The details soon will begin to come out.

T-8 weeks+, ASNARO-2/Epsilon 3 Launch on November 12

Jul. 12, 2017 Updated
Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

JAXA is inviting all to write notes to cheer on the project members and the mission of Epsilon-3, to be launched this fiscal year.
The project members of the past series of Epsilon launches have drawn strength from the similar campaigns.
The notes sent to JAXA will be printed as part of the decal (sticker) attached to the body of the launch vehicle. JAXA appreciates the positive participation by many.

Application Deadline: 5 pm (JST), August 7, 2017
*The deadline has been changed.

Send EPSILON-3 up to Space with Cheer

Dec. 20, 2016 Updated
Success of Epsilon-2 Launch with ERG Aboard

JAXA successfully launched the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) aboard at 8:00 p.m. on December 20, 2016 (JST) from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at approximately 13 minutes and 27 seconds after liftoff, the separation of ERG was confirmed.

The signals were received in the Santiago Ground Station, the Republic of Chile at 8:37 p.m. (JST). ERG's solar array paddles have been deployed as planned. Also, ERG has completed the attitude control based on the sun acquisition.
JAXA has nicknamed ERG "ARASE".

Success of Epsilon-2 Launch with ERG Aboard

Dec. 19, 2016 Updated
Epsilon-2/ERG launch time decided! Live broadcast from 7:40 p.m. on December 20 (Tue.)

The launch time of the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) was set for 8:00:00 on December 20 (Tue.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Uchinoura Space Center from 7:40 p.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet. Please have a look!

Epsilon-2/ERG launch time decided! Live broadcast from 7:40 p.m. on December 20 (Tue.)

Nov. 15, 2016 Updated
The Launch date of the Epsilon-2 with the ERG satellite on board- December 20

JAXA announced that the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) on board will be launched sometime between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 20, 2016 (Japan Standard Time). Live launch coverage from the Uchinoura Space Center will be carried on YouTube. More detail will be available shortly.
JAXA is happy to hear from dear readers. Please send words of encouragement to the project members of the Epsilon and of the ERG mission.

The Launch date of the Epsilon-2 with the ERG satellite on board- December 20

Dec. 22, 2015 Updated
The static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle carried out

On Monday, December 21, JAXA conducted the static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the Enhanced Launch Vehicle in Noshiro Rocket Center (Noshiro City, Akita). M-35 was designed to improve the launch capabilities. The experiment was done with a view to ensuring its design, under the simulated vacuum conditions.
The weather was overcast, at 2.5 m/sec easterly winds. The test started on time, from 11am (JST) and the firing lasted for approximately 2 minutes. The maximum firing pressure was 5.55 MPa (preliminary figure).
The test results will be analyzed and be reflected in the enhanced Epsilon designs.
The Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) will be launched by the Epsilon in the Japanese fiscal 2016.  

The static firing test of the second stage motor of M-35, the enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle carried out

Aug. 6, 2015 Updated
Development progress for Enhanced Epsilon

The development of the Enhanced Epsilon Launch Vehicle has been going smoothly.
The static firing test of the sub-sized upper-stage motor was completed before the end of March, 2015, as scheduled.
On June 18, shocks and behavior due to the payload separation impact were checked through the pyro-shock test at the Sagamihara Campus.
The Enhanced Epsilon has a better launch capacity compared to the first Epsilon launched in Sept. 2013. The goal is to launch the Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace “ERG” in JFY 2016.

Development progress for Enhanced Epsilon

Nov. 7, 2013 Updated
Epsilon Launch Vehicle awarded Good Design Award Gold Award

The first Epsilon Launch vehicle (Epsilon-1) developed and launched by JAXA in September 2013 received the JFY 2013 Good Design Award Gold Award sponsored by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.
Epsilon was listed as one of the 1,212 Good Design Award winners from 3,400 nominees, then selected for the best 100 products, and finally chosen for the Gold Award this time.

Epsilon Launch Vehicle awarded Good Design Award Gold Award

Sep. 14, 2013 Updated
Launch Result of Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A aboard

JAXA 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.
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.
The satellite is currently in good health.
The SPRINT-A's nickname was also decided. It is "HISAKI".

Sep. 12, 2013 Updated
Epsilon-1/SPRINT-A new launch date decided!

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.

JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Uchinoura Space Center from 1:25 p.m. on the day. You can watch it through the Internet.
Please send your support message for the launch on the special website, or tweet it including #Epsilon JAXA.

Sep. 9, 2013 Updated
New Launch Day Information for Epsilon-1 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.

Aug. 28, 2013 Updated
Updated Information about Epsilon-1 Launch Day

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is now investigating the cause of an automatic stop alarm issued approximately 19 seconds prior to liftoff during the Epsilon-1 launch countdown operation on August 27, 2013. As we have decided to carefully examine the cause and prudently confirm the measures, it is very difficult for us to set the new launch date within August.
We will inform you about the results of our investigation into the cause and the new launch date as soon as they are respectively clarified.
Thank you for your patience.

Aug. 27, 2013 Updated
Launch Cancellation of Epsilon-1 with SPRINT-A Onboard

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.

Aug. 8, 2013 Updated
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.

Scheduled launch day: August 27 (Tue.) 2013
Scheduled launch time window: 1:45 thru 2:30 p.m.

Jun. 17, 2013 Updated
Epsilon Support Message Campaign result!

The Message Campaign for the first Epsilon launch vehicle scheduled to be launched on Aug. 22 was held in April and May, and the result of the campaign is now available on our website.
You can check if your message was selected by your receipt number. Many people, more than expected, participated in the campaign. Thank you very much. Please also confirm where your message is loaded through the page.

May 21, 2013 Updated
Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) launch by Epsilon-1

The first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) with the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) onboard is determined to be launched on August 22 (Thursday, Japan Standard Time). The launch time is between 1:30 thru 2:30 p.m. (JST), and the launch site is the Uchinoura Space Center.
Also, the design of the Epsilon 1 was decided! It expresses the tradition and future of the solid-fuel launch vehicle. We are now incorporating your messages in to the design. They were collected through the "Epsilon-1 support message campaign", which ended on May 7. We received 5,812 messages in total. Thank you very much for your participation.

Apr. 10, 2013 Updated
Epsilon Message Campaign

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1) in the 2013 summer launch season from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, with the spectrographic planet observation satellite (SPRINT-A) onboard.
JAXA would like to hold a message campaign to welcome your messages on your expectations, hopes, dreams or feelings toward our new launch vehicle, then post them on the vehicle as part of its design by processing them in strings of small letters. This is the first attempt in Japan to place messages on the launch vehicle design.
Through this campaign we hope that you can deepen your understanding of our next generation solid-fuel launch vehicle Epsilon and feel closer to it, so that we can “make people feel more familiar with space, gaining more understanding of and support for space programs.” This is one of the goals of the Epsilon project. Please join our campaigns!

Oct. 15, 2012 Updated
Extension test of the second stage motor nozzle

The extension test of the second stage motor nozzle of the Epsilon Launch Vehicle was held at the Sagamihara Campus in late September.
This extension nozzle is a technology that was adopted for the kick motor of the M-3SII Rocket launched in 1989. The nozzle is extended by the force of a light-weighted spring shortened and installed inside the nozzle.
The test this time checked the spring and extension mechanism of the nozzle for M-34c, the renovated type from the nozzle for the third stage motor M34b of the M-V Launch Vehicle. The nozzle was verified to work properly through the test.

Jul. 18, 2012 Updated
PBS pyro-shock test

Loaded with a small liquid-fuel engine, the Post Boost Stage (PBS) will be additionally installed on the top of the third stage when higher orbit insertion accuracy is required. The pyro-shock test of the PBS was performed at the Sagamihara Campus in mid June.
The PBS is expected to be used more in low-orbit missions, and it enables the launch vehicle to place a payload more precisely in its scheduled orbit.
The test this time was to verify if the PBS was strong enough to bear with the separation shock from the launch vehicle. A tremendous shock occurs at the time of separation, thus the shock levels for each part were measured. We have confirmed that no problem was found in the PBS through the test.

Apr. 17, 2012 Updated
Epsilon: acoustic environment measurement test at mockup launch pad

JAXA made a mockup launch pad on a scale of 1/42 in order to confirm the acoustic environment according to the launch pad configuration. The mockup was based on the design analysis performed mainly by the Epsilon Launch Vehicle Project Team. The acoustic environment measurement test at the mockup launch pad by a small-scale solid motor has been held three times since April 2011 at the Noshiro Rocket Testing Center.
The noise at the time of launch affects not only life in the surrounding area, but also the payload of a launch vehicle including onboard devices of a satellite. Therefore, it is one of the decisive factors for launch. The larger the expected vibrations cause by the launch noise, the greater the margin is required for vibration proof design.
By understanding the acoustic characteristics of launch at the designing stage of the launch site, and taking appropriate measures, we can improve the launch environment for higher reliability, reduce costs and make the site more user-friendly so that the Epsilon’s competitiveness is enhanced.
Through the three test series including the one this time, we were able to acquire very useful data that satisfies our purposes as we found the launch pad configuration can mitigate its acoustic environment.

Sep. 30, 2011 Updated
Static firing test for the upper stage sub-size motor

On September 30, JAXA performed the ground firing test of the sub-size motor (M-34SIM-3) for the Epsilon Launch Vehicle upper stage at the Noshiro Rocket Testing Center. The test mainly aims to verify the insulation material on the upper motor nozzle that is currently under development.
Through this test, we are steadily progressing with the Epsilon development while confirming the insulation function of the upper motor nozzle part based on the test results and maintaining and inheriting the already acquired solid motor static firing test technology.

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