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An ambitious solar sail mission designed by Japan is poised for launch tomorrow could become the first successful mission powered solely by sunlight, but that's not all. The spacecraft is also aimed at Venus and beyond, and could pave the way for a future hybrid space engine.
Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
If I'm correct there is already an Ion rocket engine in space. I believe Deep Horizon uses this technique. Not sure tho.
Originally posted by DavidGrouchy
Japan has been ahead of the United States in space for quite a while now.
From what I understand, the reason this is not public, is because they do not wish to embarrass us.
Originally posted by jra
So how do you know, if it's not public? Basically you're just making this up, with no supporting evidence then?
JAXA isn't capable of launching there astronauts on there own.
Japanese industry recognizes the future potential of space, and the larger Japanese mechatronics companies engage in space robotics research.
National Space Development Agency of Japan successfully launched the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.1 (H-IIA/F1) at 4:00 p.m. on August 29, 2001, Japan Standard Time, from Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle was successfully lifted off with its flight azimuth of 90 degrees.
The H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.1 flied normally, and the second stage was successfully injected into the geostationary transfer orbit. The separation of the Laser Ranging Equipment (LRE) was confirmed about 39 minutes and 47 seconds after the lift-off.
NASDA would like to send our deep appreciation for cooperation and support of all related personnel and organizations for the launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.1.