In failure news, the launch of a new Japanese rocket didn’t happen.
The Epsilon rocket was set to make its maiden voyage this afternoon, but never got around to it.
Officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), being officials, provided an official explanation. The launch was aborted after what was officially called an “attitude abnormality” that was alarming. No further details were announced.
The Epsilon rocket program has been in the works since 2006, when the M-V rocket retired. M-V now resides in Orlando, Florida, and was unavailable for comment.
Today’s failure was but the latest setback for the rocket program. JAXA was formed from the old JAEA in 2008 when an earlier prototype launch caused the top and middle bars of the E to collapse due to inertial stress. The resulting JALA organization rebranded itself as JAXA in 2010. Recent improvements in structural font design have allowed the Epsilon Launch Vehicle to use a more rounded “e” shape, based on the euro symbol.
One JAXA official, who was granted immunity because his name was too hard to spell, reported on background that the Epsilon’s autonomous health reporting systems were the cause of today’s delay. The system allegedly responded to pre-flight checks by saying, “You’re sending me WHERE?!?” and then reported that it wasn’t feeling well and had a stomach ache.
The launch today was intended to deploy the SPRINT-A satellite to spy on civilian planets in our own solar system. Suggestions that the failure to launch was a political statement have been discounted.
NASA experts hinted that the mission was destined to fail, given the artist’s misconception (pictured above) of the relative size and distance of planets such as Jupiter and Mars.
(Click on the picture to read the original article.)