New rocket Epsilon set for Tuesday launch

Kyodo

The state-run Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will hold the first launch of its new solid-fuel rocket Epsilon from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The Epsilon is Japan’s first new rocket since the H-IIA was launched in 2001, JAXA said Sunday.

The three-stage Epsilon, which is 24.4 meters long, 2.6 meters in diameter and weighs 91 tons, succeeds the M-5 rocket that was retired in 2006.

An hour after launch, the rocket will release a spectroscopic planet observatory called SPRINT-A, the world’s first space telescope for remote observation of planets, at an altitude of around 1,000 km.