It is at this time of year (well actually a little later than usual) when the Flightglobal/Ascend space team considers who is in the lead in the race to return astronauts to the Moon. Last year, we did an analysis of what a nation needed to put its astronauts on the Moon and weighed up what each had […]
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The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is held every year in a different world city. As China has become the “third force” in manned spaceflight, it was logical and correct that Beijing, China’s capital city, should be selected as the venue for IAC 2013. The 64th IAC was held at the China National Convention Centre from 22-27 September. Attendance was high […]
Having struggled for several years to attract commercial satellites to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have finally found a commercial customer for the H2A vehicle. On 26 September MHI announced a launch contract with Telesat Canada for the launch of the Telstar 12 Vantage satellite that is being built by Astrium. The launch by a H2A […]
The ground control-issue -delayed maiden flight of Japan’s new smaller launch vehicle, Epsilon, finally flew successfully at 0500 GMT on 14 September 2013 from the Uchinouora Space Center, Kagoshima, in Japan. The JAXA-designed three-stage solid-propellant rocket which replaced the more expensive M-V launch vehicle, successfully placed its Sprint-A astronomy satellite payload into orbit. The satellite is designed to […]
The Japanese unmanned cargo craft, HTV-4, was unberthied from the International Space Station’s Harmony module aat 1208 GMT on 4 September 2013. The JAXA operated craft was later released by the robot arm at 1620 GMT. The spacecratt used burns of onboard thrusters to move it away from the space station. It will eventually make a deorbit burn to make […]
The launch of Japan’s new generation small launch vehicle Epsilon suffered two embarrassing delays in August. On 22 August the solid rocket suffered a delay due to incorrect line routing in the signal relay equipment for checking the launch vehicle functions. After this was fixed, the Epsilon’s launch attempt on 27 August from the Tanegashima launch site in was […]
On 9 August, the Japanese built HTV-4 freighter (and its nanosat co-paylaods Ardusat-1, Ardusat-X, TechEdSat 1, Picodragon) was captured with the Canadian robotic arm at 1122 GMT. JAXA’s HTV-4 was docked onto the International Space Station at its Harmony node at 1538 GMT. The craft as carrying 3.6 tons of cargo including food and scientific equipment.
The Japanese cargo craft HTV-4 (Kounotori-4) was sent on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard an H-2B launch rocket launched from the Tanegashima launch site in Japan at 1948 GMT on 3 July. Apart from stores and spare parts, the JAXA-operated HTV-4 carried a small taking robot called Kirobo for use inside the space station and a variety of […]
In a similar vein to Europe’s EGNOS satellite navigation overlay system, to improve the accuracy and availabilty of GPS navigation signals in Japan, the Cabinet Office of the Japanese government has announced that has planned a $525 million contract with the Japanese spacecraft manufacturer Mitsibushi to build three new satellites as part of its Quasi-Zenith programme. The three satellites will form a constelaltion of four with the first Quasi-Zenith (Mischibiki) satellite (QZS-1) which is already in orbit after being launched in 2010.
A Japanese H2A202 rocket successfullly launched two satellites for the Japanese Defence Agency from the Tanegashima launch site at 0440 on 27 January. The main payload on the launch was the IGS-4D radar carrying spacecraft which was built for Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) programme by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. The IGS-4D spacecraft’s Synthetic Aperture Radar allows it to image the ground both at night and through clouds. The launch of IGS-4D is thought to be especially relevant to monitoring developments in North Korea’s nuclear and launch vehicle programmes. The second spacecraft on board was the IGS Optical Demonstration spacecraft, which is testing technology to be used by future IGS spacecraft.
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