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Friday, May 18, 2012

Nagoya group's satellite to lift off in December for space debris mission

Jiji

NAGOYA — A small, low-cost satellite developed by a group of companies in the Chubu region and Daido University will be sent into space in December, according to Nagoya University.

News photo
Space cube: Hiroyasu Tajima, a professor at the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory at Nagoya University, gives a briefing Wednesday about a prototype ChubuSat-1 satellite in Nagoya. KYODO

ChubuSat-1 was developed by Nagoya-based Daido and a group of small businesses engaged in the aerospace industry. It will be launched on a Russian rocket and conduct space debris observation under the supervision of Nagoya University, officials said Wednesday.

The joint development was proposed by professor Hiroyasu Tajima at Nagoya University's Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory. Tajima said the group hopes to launch more satellites to bring costs low enough for private companies to enter the commercial satellite business.

If the launch succeeds and the group can expand its knowhow, costs could drop to less than one-hundredth of the current figure, Tajima said.

The 50-kg satellite is a cube measuring 50 cm per side and equipped with solar panels and a high-definition camera, they said.

The small businesses group, named Meiyu Aerospace Support Technology Team, began developing it last May with free technical support from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.



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