Press Release

Launch Result of S-520-29 Sounding Rocket

August 17, 2014 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the S-520-29 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center on August 17 (Sunday), 2014, with the objective of the "stereoscope observation of Sporadic E layer (*1) space structure." The experiment was successful.

The S-520-29 dropped into the south eastern ocean off Uchinoura after its normal flight and operation of onboard experiment instruments.

Flight result
Sounding rocket Launch time
(Japan standard time)
Elevation angle Observation start
(when the nosecone opened)
Attitude control start by a small attitude control system Highest altitude reached Splashdown time
S-520-29 7:10:00 p.m. 80 degrees 55 seconds after liftoff 61 seconds after liftoff 243 km
(249 seconds after liftoff)
553 seconds after liftoff

The plasma probe (*2) aboard the rocket started measuring after the nosecone opened, and observed the Sporadic E layer at around 97 km when the rocket was ascending, and at around 100 km when descending. The onboard radio wave receiver measured LF and MF wave from the ground throughout ascending and descending to verify the existence of a layer of high electron density in the lower ionosphere.

We will perform more detailed analysis on the Sporadic E layer space structure based on the acquired observation data.
The rocket was tracked by an optical camera till 80 seconds after liftoff.
Today’s weather at the time of the launch was cloudy, the wind speed was 0.5 meters/second, and the temperature was 26 degrees Celsius.

We would like to express our profound appreciation to all related parties and personnel who have been cooperating with the launch of the S-520-29 sounding rocket. With this experiment, the first series of sounding rocket experiments in Japan fiscal Year 2014 has been completed.


  • (*1) Sporadic E layer: The region where plasma density is locally high in the ionospheric E region.
    The experiment this time aims at elucidating the space structure of the Sporadic E layer and the generation mechanism of its plasma density fluctuation by stereoscopically observing the region.
  • (*2) Probe: an electrode to measure plasma.