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Completion of the initial operation of the JAXA CubeSat EQUULEUS

November 26, 2022 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

 The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is pleased to announce that a series of scheduled function verification operations have been completed for the JAXA CubeSat EQUULEUS, which was launched by NASA's Artemis I on November 16, 2022 JST. As a result of the orbit maneuver control and orbit corrections before and after the lunar fly-by, the lunar fly-by was completed as planned on November 22 JST and EQUULEUS has been confirmed to be in the planned orbit towards the second Earth-Moon Lagrange point (EML2). This is the world’s first successful orbit control beyond low-Earth orbit using a water propellant propulsion system.

 From now, EQUULEUS will move from the initial operation phase onto the normal operation phase, and reach the Lagrange point in approximately 1.5 years.

 We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for their cooperation and support during the launch and tracking control.

Comment by FUNASE Ryu,
JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Professor / Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Associate Professor:

I am proud of the EQUULEUS operation team, who were able to immediately complete the orbital control necessary for the lunar fly-by, just one day after the checkout operation shortly after launch. This was a difficult operation that had to be successful. I feel we were able to succeed in this critical operation due to their careful preparation, including numerous back-up plans, and the ability to respond flexibly through training. We are now at the start line of the long voyage to the Lagrange point. Thank you for your continual support!