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Japan launches solar science satellite
Posted: Sat, Sep 23, 2006, 10:40 AM ET (1440 GMT)
M-5 launch vehicle (JAXA) A Japanese rocket launched a science satellite Saturday carrying instruments from several countries devoted to studying the Sun. The M-5 rocket launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan at 5:36 pm EDT Friday (2136 GMT Friday, 6:36 am Saturday local time) and placed the Solar-B satellite into a Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit. Solar-B is carrying several instruments from Japan, Europe, and the US to study the Sun and its magnetic fields. The launch is the last for the M-5, which is being retired in favor of a less expensive design based on the solid rocket boosters used by the larger H-2A rocket.
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