Japan space agency sets new Epsilon launch date

Washington DC
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Japanese space agency JAXA has rescheduled the first launch of the Epsilon launch vehicle for 14 September, following a last-minute abort during a previous launch attempt.

The 27 August attempt was automatically scrubbed only seconds before launch due to a .07s mis-match in signal timing between the onboard flight computer and the controller's ground computer.

A full-scale rehearsal has been held at the Uchinoura launch complex, simulating a launch up until right before ignition, and the computers were found to be in sync.

The 14 September rescheduled launch will be the first for Epsilon, putting the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) research satellite into orbit. The SPRINT-A is an ultraviolet telescope for solar system research.

Japan has been building up its space portfolio, in the midst of competition with established space power China, and rising space explorers North Korea and South Korea.