Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
JAXA, Japan’s space agency, has announced that it will make a second launch attempt in December of what would be the world’s smallest orbital rocket.
The rocket, measuring 10 meters long and 50 cm in diameter, will carry a “micro-mini” satellite weighing about 3 kg developed by the University of Tokyo to collect imagery of the Earth’s surface.
The launch scheduled for Dec. 25 will feature the fifth rocket in the SS-520 series. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is hoping small rockets made with commercially available components at low cost will help fuel the growing global demand for micro-mini satellites. JAXA used components found in home electronics and smartphones for the rocket, which is about the size of a utility pole.
The previous launch failed when vibrations during liftoff caused a short-circuit that cut off communications, forcing them to terminate the flight.