Japan successfully launches mini-rocket
NHK -- Feb 04
Japan's space agency has successfully test-launched a mini-rocket carrying a microsatellite.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, launched the rocket, one of the smallest in the world, from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, at 2:03 PM on Saturday.

JAXA says the rocket later released the microsatellite into its designated orbit. Both used some consumer parts to reduce costs.

It was the second time JAXA has attempted to launch the rocket. The first effort, in January last year, was aborted because of technical issues.

Images of the Earth's surface captured by the satellite can be used for multiple purposes, such as detecting natural disasters and monitoring agricultural products.

Global demand for microsatellites is expected to continue to grow, spurring the development of mini-rockets designed to carry them.

JAXA hopes Saturday's launch will encourage private businesses to move into the space sector.

News source: NHK
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