Techno Blender
Digitally Yours.

Thruster Malfunction Doomed Japan’s Epsilon-6 Rocket Launch

0 9


The Epsilon-6 rocket is launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Oct. 12, 2022.

The Epsilon-6 rocket launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in southwestern Japan, on October 12.
Photo: KYDPL KYODO (AP)

A Japanese rocket had to be intentionally destroyed last week during launch, marking the first failure of the company’s Epsilon-6 rocket. An initial investigation points to the rocket’s attitude control system as the source of the major malfunction.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Epsilon-6 rocket took off from the Mu Pad at the Uchinoura Space Center in southwestern Japan on October 12. About 10 minutes into its flight, the space agency, known as JAXA, issued a self-destruct command to the rocket after detecting that it was misaligned for separation and ignition of its third stage motor. The rocket had to be put out of its misery, along with eight commercial satellites that were included in the rideshare mission.

This was the first time an Epsilon-6 rocket had failed to launch, but JAXA believes it has pinpointed the cause. On Tuesday, space agency officials said one set of the rocket’s thrusters fired off normally, but the other set failed to function, Spaceflight Now reported. The Epsilon-6 features two sets of four small reaction control system thrusters on its second stage that maintain the rocket’s orientation during the initial coast phase. JAXA officials came to this conclusion after reviewing the flight data.

The control system failure caused the rocket to deviate from its orientation, or attitude, by 21 degrees, according to Spaceflight Now. While the rocket’s first stage engine was working normally, the abnormal attitude of its second stage may have led to the launch failure. “At the time of deciding on separation of the second and third stages, we observed that the vehicle’s flight attitude was deviating from the target, and determined that it would be unable to enter the Earth’s orbit as planned,” JAXA wrote in a statement last week.

The failed launch marked the first time Epsilon-6 carried commercial payloads, including two Earth-observing satellites developed by a venture company in Fukuoka. Epsilon’s payload also included the RAISE-3 satellite, which was meant to operate in a Sun-synchronous orbit; this 13-month-long demonstration mission was meant to test a micro-propulsion system that uses water as fuel and a satellite de-orbiting drag sail, according to Everyday Astronaut. Unfortunately, all eight satellites were destroyed along with the rocket.

The space agency’s previous five Epsilon rocket launches had all been successful following the launch vehicle’s debut in 2013.

More: First Launch of Much-Needed Ariane 6 Rocket Slips to Late 2023


The Epsilon-6 rocket is launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Oct. 12, 2022.

The Epsilon-6 rocket launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in southwestern Japan, on October 12.
Photo: KYDPL KYODO (AP)

A Japanese rocket had to be intentionally destroyed last week during launch, marking the first failure of the company’s Epsilon-6 rocket. An initial investigation points to the rocket’s attitude control system as the source of the major malfunction.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Epsilon-6 rocket took off from the Mu Pad at the Uchinoura Space Center in southwestern Japan on October 12. About 10 minutes into its flight, the space agency, known as JAXA, issued a self-destruct command to the rocket after detecting that it was misaligned for separation and ignition of its third stage motor. The rocket had to be put out of its misery, along with eight commercial satellites that were included in the rideshare mission.

This was the first time an Epsilon-6 rocket had failed to launch, but JAXA believes it has pinpointed the cause. On Tuesday, space agency officials said one set of the rocket’s thrusters fired off normally, but the other set failed to function, Spaceflight Now reported. The Epsilon-6 features two sets of four small reaction control system thrusters on its second stage that maintain the rocket’s orientation during the initial coast phase. JAXA officials came to this conclusion after reviewing the flight data.

The control system failure caused the rocket to deviate from its orientation, or attitude, by 21 degrees, according to Spaceflight Now. While the rocket’s first stage engine was working normally, the abnormal attitude of its second stage may have led to the launch failure. “At the time of deciding on separation of the second and third stages, we observed that the vehicle’s flight attitude was deviating from the target, and determined that it would be unable to enter the Earth’s orbit as planned,” JAXA wrote in a statement last week.

The failed launch marked the first time Epsilon-6 carried commercial payloads, including two Earth-observing satellites developed by a venture company in Fukuoka. Epsilon’s payload also included the RAISE-3 satellite, which was meant to operate in a Sun-synchronous orbit; this 13-month-long demonstration mission was meant to test a micro-propulsion system that uses water as fuel and a satellite de-orbiting drag sail, according to Everyday Astronaut. Unfortunately, all eight satellites were destroyed along with the rocket.

The space agency’s previous five Epsilon rocket launches had all been successful following the launch vehicle’s debut in 2013.

More: First Launch of Much-Needed Ariane 6 Rocket Slips to Late 2023

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Techno Blender is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment