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Japan launches astronomy satellite
Posted: Sun, Jul 10, 2005, 9:07 PM ET (0107 GMT)
M-5 launch of Astro-E2 (JAXA) The Japanese space agency JAXA announced Sunday that it had successfully launched a small x-ray astronomy satellite. An M-5 launch vehicle carrying the Astro-E2 satellite lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center at 11:30 pm EDT Saturday (0330 GMT, 12:30 pm JST Sunday), placing the satellite into a 247 by 560 km orbit, inclined 31.4 degrees from the Equator. JAXA announced that the satellite would now be known as Suzaku; it is customary for Japanese spacecraft to be renamed once successfully launched. Astro-E2 carries a number of x-ray instruments designed to study astronomical phenomena like black holes. The satellite is a replacement for Astro-E, which was lost in a launch failure in 2000.
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