Epsilon-4 puts 7 satellites into orbit
NHK -- Jan 19
Japan's Epsilon-4 rocket has put into orbit seven small satellites that were developed by private-sector companies and universities.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, launched the 26-meter-long rocket carrying the satellites on Friday morning from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

The rocket placed the largest of the satellites into orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometers about 51 minutes after the launch. The other six were then released into orbit one by one as planned.

JAXA developed the Epsilon series with the aim of putting small satellites into orbit at a low cost. The Epsilon-1 was launched six years ago.

One of the seven satellites will test transmission equipment and cameras made from commercial parts, and another will try to create artificial shooting stars.

The space agency is shouldering the Epsilon-4's launch cost of about 5.5 billion yen, or roughly 50 million dollars, in an attempt to encourage private-sector space exploration. This is the first time an Epsilon rocket has been used to transport multiple satellites.

ロケット打ち上げ後に、発射場近くの雑木林で火災が起きていました。 消防によりますと、18日午前10時20分ごろ、鹿児島県肝付町の内之浦宇宙空間観測所の近くで「山火事が起きている」とJAXA(宇宙航空研究開発機構)の自衛消防隊から地元の消防団に連絡がありました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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