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RE: ASTRO-F Satellite
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Launch site at 18:00JST

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Launch preparations for the M-V Launch Vehicle Flight #8 with the infrared astronomy satellite ASTRO-F onboard is on schedule.

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that the launch time of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (ASTRO-F) aboard the M-V Launch Vehicle No. 8 (M-V-8) has been determined as follows based on the collision avoidance analysis with the manned space system(s)* which is performed one day prior to the launch day.
(The date and time are Japan Standard Time.)


Scheduled Launch Day: February 21, 2006
Launch Time: 6:28 a.m.** (21:28 GMT)

* A collision avoidance analysis is an analysis carried out prior to a rocket launch to avoid a collision with manned space systems, such as the International Space Station, which are in orbit. In principal, a launch vehicle and any of its separated objects should not collide with manned space systems from the launch until its completion of the first round around the earth.

** The launch time has been determined based on the best time to inject the satellite into its orbit as the whole original launch time range (6:00 to 7:00 a.m.) was found to be free from any possibility of collision with manned space systems after the collision avoidance analysis.

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Japan's Astro-F infrared astronomical observatory, previously known as the InfraRed Imaging Surveyor (IRIS) is set to launch from the Uchinoura Space Centre atop a M-5 rocket at 21:00-22:00 GMT (4:00-5:00 p.m. EST) on February 20, during a one-hour launch window.
Equipped with a 68.5-centimeter telescope, the observatory will make a complete sky survey at a higher sensitivity and across a wider wavelength range than IRAS.

Astro-F is Japan's second infrared astronomy mission following the Infrared Astronomical Satellite launched in 1983. The satellite will be launched into a 745-kilometer, Sun-synchronous orbit.

-- Edited by Blobrana at 08:00, 2006-02-18

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The launch schedule of the 21st scientific mission satellite "ASTRO-F" by the M-V Launch Vehicle No. 8 to the Space Activities Commission (SAC) is scheduled for February 21 (Tue), 2006, at 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. (JST), from the Uchinoura Space Centre, Japan.

The launch window extends from February 22 to 28, 2006.

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