Japan's Laptop-Controlled Space Rocket Launch - [technology]
02:55 PM EDT - Sep,15 2013 - post a comment
Japan has sent a rocket into space with a launch co-ordinated from two laptops in a control centre manned by a crew of just eight people. Up to 1,000 people gathered at a public viewing site in Tokyo to see Epsilon - the nation's first new rocket in 12 years - successfully blast-off into space from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima, in southwestern Japan. An Epsilon rocket blasts off into space from the launching pad at the Uchinoura Space Center in Kimotsuki town, Kagoshima prefecture The Epsilon rocket blasts off into space. Lift-off had originally been scheduled for August 27 but was aborted with just seconds to go following a computer glitch. Epsilon - which is carrying a telescope to observe the solar system - was launched at half the production and launch costs of the previous M-5 rocket at 3.8bn yen (£24m) because of a new computer system that can perform its own checks and can be assembled quickly. A much smaller crew was involved, compared with the about 150 people needed when Japan has previously launched its mainstream H2-A rocket. Japan hopes it will be a cheaper and more efficient method of sending satellites into space, paving the way for a more competitive operation in a growing, international industry.