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Lightbulb Epsilon launch with SPRINT-A, September 14, 2013
by Galactic Penguin SST 08-27-2013, 02:22 AM

Any maiden flights of a completely newly designed space launch vehicle, no matter how big or small, is the accumulation of years of hard work by people around the world. 2013 happens to be the start of a long list of new generation vehicles waiting for their first flights, and after Antares we are now seeing another highly anticipated one in just a few hours from now. Oh yes, today's Tuesday!

Nope, it's not the Falcon 9 v1.1, which still needs to wait for a while for its turn.

Behold the Epsilon, the newest member in a long string of Japanese all solid launchers!









The maiden launch is planned at 04:45 UTC today from the Uchinoura Space Center in the southern parts of Japan, where all previous Japanese solid launchers have been launched from. Today's flight will carry a 400 kg satellite named SPRINT-A that will perform extreme ultraviolet observations of the planets in our solar system (more on that later....)

*Click here to restart the timer* maiden flight of Epsilon LV with SPRINT-A

Live coverage is here (starts at T-20 minutes):



Well I have written an introduction to this launcher, with the payload capacity mid-way between the Taurus and the Vega rockets (1.2 tonnes to LEO, 450 kg to SSO), during a time when I tried to develop an add-on for this rocket in Orbiter (now in other members' hands for finishing it since I don't have the time and skills to do so), so the next few posts will be mainly about its special features, today's launch itself and the satellite on board (which is special in itself too).

Good luck!

Last edited by Galactic Penguin SST; 09-09-2013 at 01:07 PM. Reason: New launch time
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:08 AM   #2
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Photos









































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Old 08-27-2013, 03:39 AM   #3
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Today's flight time line is as follows:

EventTime rel lift-offTime UTCDownrange dist. (km)Altitude (km)Velocity (km/s)Comment
Liftoff00:00:0004:45:00000 
1st Stage Burn Out00:01:5204:46:5270882.6 
Payload Fairing Separation00:02:3004:47:301311472.4 
1st/2nd Stage Separation00:02:4104:47:411481622.4 
2nd Stage Ignition00:02:4504:47:451541672.4 
2nd Stage Burn Out00:04:2704:49:274153235.1 
2nd/3rd Stage Separation00:10:2404:55:2416588224.2 
3rd Stage Ignition00:10:2804:55:2816718234.2 
3rd Stage Burn Out00:11:5704:56:5720618407.5 
3rd/Post-Boost Stage Separation00:16:4805:01:4838468647.4 
Post-Boost Stage Burn 1 Ignition00:19:0805:04:0859438967.4 
Post-Boost Stage Burn 1 Shutdown00:29:5805:14:5874479217.4 
Post-Boost Stage Burn 1 Ignition00:53:5005:38:501743111437.2 
Post-Boost Stage Burn 1 Shutdown01:00:3005:45:301902011547.2 
Spacecraft Separation01:01:4005:46:401972211517.2 

And a good overview article to read before the launch: NASASpaceflight.com: Japanís Epsilon set to launch SPRINT-A
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:31 AM   #4
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Try this UStream link since the Youtube link seems to be down: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jaxa-live
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:33 AM   #5
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Both are blocked here for me anyway. I'll have to watch a replay of it when I get home.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:35 AM   #6
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Or try JAXA's stream

I feel bad for the people at YouTube, because I can't notify them at the moment about the link above (or USTREAM) due to site maintenance.

Last edited by Pipcard; 08-27-2013 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:43 AM   #7
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Today's payload is a 350 kg satellite named SPRINT-A, making use of a new satellite bus with state-of-the-art electronics and solar panels. The satellite carries an extreme-ultraviolet telescope and spectrometer, which is specially designed to observe solar system targets, in particular Jupiter, Venus (both for their aurora and interactions of their magnetic field and magnetosphere) and Mars (for its loss of atmosphere).
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:45 AM   #8
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Anticlimatic...
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:46 AM   #9
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Technical difficulties
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tl8 View Post
 Anticlimatic...
And then....please wait for a moment....

Nooooo, I become insane!

EDIT: Is there a problem or a scrub? I still see the Epsilon on the launchpad.

Last edited by Alfastar; 08-27-2013 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:56 AM   #11
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"The countdown operations was halted. More details will be reported as further information becomes available."
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipcard View Post
 "The countdown operations was halted. More details will be reported as further information becomes available."
Looks that it not going to be launched then today.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:05 AM   #13
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Apparently scrubbed for the day. Hmm..... must be years since a Japanese launch aborted so close to liftoff...
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galactic Penguin SST View Post
 Apparently scrubbed for the day. Hmm..... must be years since a Japanese launch aborted so close to liftoff...
Indeed, it was very close to lift-off. I don't hope its something bad with the first stage. Is there already a guess what would be the cause of this scrub?
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfastar View Post
 Indeed, it was very close to lift-off. I don't hope its something bad with the first stage. Is there already a guess what would be the cause of this scrub?
One source reported an "attitude problem", while another reported over-limit battery reading. In any case the halt was at T-19 seconds.

Gotta got back to work with one Delta IV Heavy launch tomorrow & Ariane 5 launch on Thursday!
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