Press Release

Launch Result of S-310-44 Sounding Rocket

January 15, 2016 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the S-310-44 sounding rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center on January 15 (Fri.), 2016, with the objective of “clarifying the heating phenomenon of ionospheric plasma”.

The flight went smoothly, and the S-310-44 dropped into the south eastern ocean off Uchinoura.

Flight result
Sounding rocket Launch time
(Japan standard time)
Elevation angle Observation start
(when the nosecone opened)
Highest altitude reached Splashdown time
S-310-4412:00 p.m.75.5 degrees60 seconds after liftoff161 km
(198 seconds after liftoff)
388 seconds after liftoff

The weather at the time of the launch was cloudy, the wind speed was 2.0 meters/second, from the north, and the temperature was 8.0 degrees Celsius. With this launch, the experiment by the sounding rocket S-310-44 has been completed. We would like to express our profound appreciation to all related parties and personnel who have been cooperating with the launch of the S-310-44.

<For your reference>
The experiment of the S-310-44 this time aims to clarify the heating phenomenon of the plasma occurring near the focus of the Sq current system (*) generated in the lower ionosphere, thus we measured the plasma, electric field and magnetic field in the high-temperature layer. JAXA and pertinent universities will analyze observation data in detail. The Ionosphere exists around other planets that have atmosphere; therefore, deeper understanding thanks to the result of the experiment this time will be useful for studying atmosphere and the ionosphere of other planets.

(*) Sq current system: Electric current in the lower ionosphere caused by the movement of atmosphere generated by energy input from the sun