Japan successfully launched on Saturday the world's smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January past year, the nation's space agency said.
While SpaceX might be preparing to launch their big Falcon Heavy rocket, they fell a few days behind a very different milestone in rocket launches: a very tiny one. Investigators later found vibrations caused a short circuit and took the rocket's transmitters offline.
As you can imagine, the satellite itself, called TRICOM-1R, is even smaller at just 13.6 inches (34.5 centimeters) in diameter. Now in orbit, JAXA says that its status is "nominal". The SS-520-5's first stage, fitted with spin-stabilizing fins, was loaded with almost 3,500 pounds (1,587 kilograms) of HTPB solid fuel.
A gaseous nitrogen thruster package was created to keep the SS-520-5 rocket pointed correctly during a one-and-a-half minute coast phase between the launcher's first and second stage burns.
Japan Has Launched the Smallest Rocket Ever to Put a Satellite Into Orbit
The rocket's payload, the TRICOM-1R, weighs 300 pounds, and is equipped with radios and imaging equipment.
The launch of the low-priced rocket - with a height of 10 metres and 53 centimetres in diameter - took place from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture and was aired live on YouTube, Efe news reported.
The rocket and the satellite were made with consumer parts to reduce costs.
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