Japan launches “Epsilon” rocket from Kagoshima

Japan launches the first in a new generation of rockets into space, hoping the design will make missions more affordable. AFP
Japan\’s new solid-fuel rocket blasted off on Saturday carrying a telescope for remote observation of planets in a launch coordinated from a laptop computer-based command centre.
The three-stage, solid fuel Epsilon lifted off successfully Saturday from a space center in Kagoshima, southern Japan. 
Crowds of Japanese gathered to watch the launch, which was also broadcast on the internet.
The Epsilon was carrying the SPRINT A, the first space telescope designed for remote observation of other planets. 
Japan hopes the rocket, launched with conventional laptop computers in a pared-down command center, will become competitive in the global space business. 
The French news agency reports only eight workers were assigned to the blastoff operation. 
Japan\’s other recent space innovations included sending a talking robot to the International Space Station.
Lift-off had originally been scheduled for two weeks ago, but the attempt was suspended with just 19 seconds to go due to a computer glitch.
Source: Agencies

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