The Epsilon rocket (formerly Advanced Solid Rocket) is a Japanese solid-fuel rocket designed to launch scientific satellites. It is a follow on project to the larger and more expensive M-V rocket which was retired in 2006. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) began developing the Epsilon in 2007. It will be capable of launching a satellite weighing 1.2 tonnes into low earth orbit.
The development aim is to reduce costs, primarily by using the solid rocket booster of the H-IIA as the Epsilon's first stage. Existing M-V upper stages will be used for the second and third stages. Another primary aim is to achieve much shorter launch preparation time. The rocket will weigh 91 tonnes and be 24.4 meters tall. Epsilon launches are intended to cost much less than the $70 million launch cost of a M-V.
The first launch, of a small scientific satellite SPRINT-A, is scheduled for August or September 2013 at Uchinoura Space Center for a cost of $47 million. The initial launches will be of a two stage version of Epsilon, with up to a 500 kilogram LEO payload capability.
In November 2012 JAXA reported that there had been a possible leak of rocket data due to a computer virus. JAXA had previously been a victim of cyber-attacks, possibly for espionage purposes. Solid-fuel rocket data potentially has military value. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency removed the infected computer from its network, and said its M-V rocket and H-IIA and H-IIB rockets may have been compromised.
 See also
- ^ a b "Epsilon launch vehicle". JAXA. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- ^ Yasuhiro Morita, Takayuki Imoto, Hiroto Habu, Hirohito Ohtsuka, Keiichi Hori, Takemasa Koreki, Apollo Fukuchi, Yasuyuki Uekusa, Ryojiro Akiba (2009-07-10). "Advanced Solid Rocket Launcher and its Evolution". 27th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ Kazuyuki Miho, Toshiaki Hara, Satoshi.Arakawa, Yasuo Kitai, Masao Yamanishi (2009-07-10). "A minimized facility concept of the Advanced Solid Rocket launch operation". 27th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- ^ "JAXA readies small rocket to break cost, use barriers". The Japan Times. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- ^ "Asteroid probe, rocket get nod from Japanese panel". Spaceflight Now. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- ^ "Interview: Yasuhiro Morita, Project Manager, Epsilon Launch Vehicle". JAXA. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- ^ Stephen Clark (5 November 2012). "Japan schedules launch of innovative Epsilon rocket". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- ^ Iain Thomson (30 November 2012). "Malware slurps rocket data from Japanese space agency". The Register. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- ^ "Virus hits Japan space programme". 3 News NZ. December 3, 2012.
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