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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ERG Update #2: Japan's "Arase" Spacecraft Is Now Headed to the Van Allen Radiation Belts!

An Epsilon-2 rocket carrying Japan's ERG satellite (now known as 'Arase') launches from Uchinoura Space Center at the southern tip of the country on December 20, 2016.
JAXA

Onboard the Arase spacecraft are two aluminum plates bearing the names of people who submitted their monikers online earlier this year...including Yours Truly! Presumably.

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Success of Epsilon-2 Launch with ERG Aboard (Press Release)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully launched the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) aboard at 8:00 p.m. on December 20, 2016 (JST) from the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at approximately 13 minutes and 27 seconds after liftoff, the separation of ERG was confirmed.

The weather at the time of the launch was fine, the wind speed was 0.7 meters/second, from the SSE, and the temperature was 17.0 degrees Celsius.

Source: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

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The Arase spacecraft on display to the media several months before its launch on December 20, 2016.
JAXA

An illustration showing the location of the two aluminum plates bearing the names of people (including Yours Truly) aboard the Arase spacecraft.
JAXA

The 'passport' that I received for submitting my name to fly aboard the Arase spacecraft.
JAXA

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