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H-2A rocket launch a success
Posted: Sat, Dec 14, 2002, 11:34 AM ET (1634 GMT)
H-2A launch on flight 4 (NASDA) A Japanese H-2A rocket lifted off on schedule late Friday, placing four spacecraft into Earth orbit. The H-2A lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 8:31 pm EST Friday (0131 GMT, 10:31 am local time Saturday). The vehicle placed into a sun-synchronous, 800-km orbit the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-2 (ADEOS-2), which the Japanese space agency NASDA renamed Midori-2 after launch. Midori-2 carries several instruments to study the oceans, atmosphere, and landmasses, including NASA/JPL's SeaWinds scatterometer and CNES's POLDER polarization sensor. The H-2A also launched three secondary payloads: Micro-LabSat, a technology demonstration microsatellite for NASDA; WEOS, a whale-tracking satellite built by the Chiba Institute of Technology; and FedSat, an Australian microsatellite. FedSat is the first non-Japanese spacecraft to be launched by the H-2A, a vehicle that has now made four successful flights since its introduction in August 2001.
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