Press Release

Initial Operation of the 21st Scientific Satellite”Akari” (ASTRO-F)

By SpaceRef Editor
February 21, 2006
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Initial Operation of the 21st Scientific Satellite”Akari” (ASTRO-F)
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The 21st Scientific Satellite “Akari” which was launched by the M-V Launch Vehicle No. 8 from the Uchinoura Space Center at 6:28 a.m. on February 22, 2006 (Japan Standard Time, JST), was found to be stable in spite of a slight problem.

After its launch, the “Akari” was injected into its scheduled orbit, and the JAXA New Ground Network (GN) Station in Perth, Australia, started receiving data from the satellite at 6:43 a.m. (JST) Through the data, it was confirmed that the “Akari” was successfully separated and was in a spin mode.

The JAXA GN Station in Santiago, Chile, started receiving data at 8:48 a.m. (JST), and the satellite attitude was found to be shifted from the spin mode to spin downed mode as scheduled. The solar array paddle deployment and its power generation were also confirmed.

However, the solar pointing of the attitude control was not complete. Based on our investigation, there is an unknown factor in the output of the two-dimensional solar sensor (NSAS.) Due to this trouble, the “Akari” has been shifted to the attitude control mode using the earth sensor (CES) and the gyroscope (IRU) to secure the necessary power from the solar array paddles.

It was confirmed that the power has been stably generated through the data that was received at the JAXA GN Station in Kiruna, Sweden, since 12:44 p.m. (JST)

Currently, we are investigating the status of the two-dimensional solar sensor (NSAS.) The overall health condition of the “Akari”, apart from the two-dimensional solar sensor, is stable, and we do not perceive that any problem will arise for the scheduled observation operations.

SpaceRef staff editor.