The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was planning to launch Epsilon Rocket No. 5 at 9:51:21 on October 1. However, a problem was found on the ground station side. Thus, an emergency stop became mandatory about 19 seconds ago. The new launch date is undecided. JAXA held a press conference from 13:00 on the same day and explained in detail the reason for the cancellation of the launch.
Although, the cause is yet not obvious. So, what is clear at this point is that a problem has occurred with the portable Doppler radar at the Uchinoura Space Center. This is what the rocket is flying on a normal route or used in early tracking.
Further, It is said, that the abnormal time information began 10 minutes before the launch. We continued to monitor whether the event improved, but it did not improve. Thus, members of the range system decided to cancel and pressed the emergency stop button about 19 seconds before the launch.
Furthermore, According to Michio Kawakami (director of the Kagoshima Space Center in the JAXA Space Transport Technology Division), a similar phenomenon “has never happened before.” It was working fine in the pre-rehearsal and there was nothing wrong with launching the radar last night. However, due to the above, a problem occurred just before the launch.
Besides, The portable Doppler radar that caused the problem, occurred at the time of the first Epsilon machine (started operation in 2013). Made in Denmark, partly customized for JAXA. It is a trailer with a total length of about 6 m and can be towed by a car. The antenna is a flat type and has two tatami-sized antennas, one for transmission and the other for reception.
To conclude, the problem occurred only on the ground equipment this time, and there is no abnormality in the rocket and satellite. If only the radar problem can be solved, it is possible to coordinate with related organizations and launch again immediately. By the way, although it is not yet known how many days it will be postponed. The launch time will not change at 9:51:21.
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