At exactly 8PM on December 20th 2016, JAXA’s Epsilon-2 Rocket carrying the ERG satellite was successfully launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki, Japan! It took approximately 2 minutes from lift off until losing visibility of the rocket. Approximately 13 minutes from the launch, the ERG satellite separated from the carrier rocket and slowly went into its rightful orbit.
ERG stands for “Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace”. This project is a mission to elucidate acceleration and loss mechanisms of relativistic electrons around Earth during geospace storms. It will study the Earth’s magnetosphere, or in other words, plasma, particles, waves and fields within the Van Allen radiation belts.
Epsilon rockets are a new generation of “affordable” rockets, only half the cost of its predecessor, and cheaper to launch as well. Not only is it inexpensive, but the artificial intelligence only requires 8 people at the launch site, in contrast to 150 per previous launches.
Today marks the second successful Epsilon rocket launch, and we hope that the SS-520 Rocket scheduled to be launched on January 11th 2017, follows in its footstep!