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Operator Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Launch date 21:10, August 23, 2005 (2005-08-23UTC21:10Z) UTC
Launch vehicle Dnepr
Launch site Baikonur Cosmodrome
Mission duration 4 years, 32 days
Ceased operations September 24, 2009
Mass 570kg

OICETS, the Optical Inter-Orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite (other name Kirari) is an experimental satellite launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to demonstrate interorbital communication between satellites through optical (laser) means. OICETS was originally slated for a launch on the second J-I launcher. Due to problems with this launcher, the launch had to be put on hold. Using the H-2A was out of question: it would be overkill to use this model to send a 570 kilograms (1,260 lb) satellite into low Earth orbit (LEO), and there was no budget for another H-2A launch. Finally, in order to be able to perform the tests during the lifetime of the European Artemis satellite, OICETS was successfully launched on a Dnepr launcher.

The satellite's operation was finished by September 24, 2009.[1]


  • On December 9, 2005 JAXA succeeded in establishing optical links between OICETS (Kirari) and Artemis.
  • During March 2006, a successful link between OICETS and a ground station in Japan was established. This was the first optical links connection between a fixed ground station and an LEO satellite.
  • On June 7, 2006 JAXA established a communication link between OICETS and a mobile ground station operated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).


  1. ^ "光衛星間通信実験衛星「きらり」(OICETS)の運用終了について" (in Japanese). JAXA. September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009. 

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