February 9, 2009 Updated
IBUKI "First Light" Acquisition
JAXA successfully acquired the “First Light” by the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (GOSAT) during the course of its initial functional check. The data was acquired by the onboard sensors of the IBUKI, the Fourier Transform Spectrometer (TANSO-FTS) and the Cloud and Aerosol Imager (TANSO-CAI), which were just activated. The IBUKI was launched at 12:54 p.m. on January 23 (Japan Standard Time.) Its initial functional check has been carried out on schedule, and the satellite is in good condition.
We will continue to carry out the initial functional check, which is scheduled to be completed in three months after its launch. JAXA, the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) will then cooperatively carry out the initial calibration and validation operations including comparing IBUKI data and data acquired on the ground, confirming the data accuracy, and making compensations based on the data.
January 24, 2009 Updated
"IBUKI" End of Critical Phase Operation
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed that the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) is now ready for the initial functional verification operation after shifting its attitude control system to the regular mode. Therefore, the critical phase operation of the IBUKI was completed at 5:15 p.m. on January 24, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST.)
The IBUKI was launched at 12:54 p.m. on January 23, 2009 (JST.)
We will start the initial functional verification phase to check the onboard equipment function for about three months.
Photo: The IBUKI taken from the ground radar of the Research Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar (FHR), Research Establishment for Applied Science (FGAN), Germany.
January 23, 2009 Updated
"IBUKI" successfully launched!
The Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) was launched by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 (H-IIA F15) at 12:54:00 p.m. on January, 23, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 16 minutes after liftoff, the separation of the IBUKI was confirmed.
January 20, 2009 Updated
New launch set for 12:54 p.m. on Jan. 23 (Fri.) for "IBUKI"
The launch of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 was rescheduled to between 12:54 p.m. and 1:16 p.m. on Jan. 23 (Fri.) (Japan Standard Time, JST.).
JAXA's broadcast of the event will start at 12:30 p.m. on January 23 (Fri.)You can enjoy the broadcast through the Internet or at various public viewing areas in Japan including JAXA offices, JAXAi, some science museums, and universities. In addition, some cable TV channels and mobile phone service providers will broadcast the report.
* We continue to examine the weather to make the ultimate decision of the launch on Jan. 23.
* The launch day was rescheduled again to Jan. 23 (JST) as it is explained in the press release issued at 10:10 p.m. on the 20th (JST.)
January 19, 2009 Updated
Launch postponement of IBUKI/H-IIA F15
The launch of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 (H-IIA F15) was decided to be postponed as bad weather is forecast around the time of the countdown operations staging one day prior to the launch day. The launch was originally scheduled for January 21, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST). The new launch date will be January 22, 2009, or later. We will carefully monitor the weather conditions to determine the date.
January 13, 2009 Updated
IBUKI moved to the VAB
On January 11, the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The satellite will be loaded onto the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.15 to be ready for launch.
On the 21st, JAXA broadcast will be on air from 12:30 p.m. We will report the launch live from the Tanegashima Space Center. You can enjoy the broadcast through the Internet or at various public viewing areas in Japan including JAXA offices, JAXAi, some science museums, and universities. In addition, some cable TV channels and mobile phone service providers will broadcast the report.
* The JAXA broadcast schedule date and time are subject to change due to the progress of launch operations and weather conditions.
January 7, 2009 Updated
IBUKI encapsulated in payload fairing
On January 4, the "IBUKI" was mated with the "Payload Attach Fitting (PAF)" at the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building (SFA.) The PAF is a base that connects the satellite and the launch vehicle.
On January 7, the encapsulation of the IBUKI by a fairing was carried out at the SFA. The fairing type for this launch is the same one for the previous launch of the "KIZUNA" satellite. It is a 4S type that is 4 meters in diameter, and 12 meters in height.
The fairing is a cover for the IBUKI to protect it from air resistance, friction heat, and acoustic vibrations from the moment of liftoff till it passes through the atmosphere.
The encapsulated IBUKI will be loaded onto the launch vehicle at the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB.)
(Left: The IBUKI mated with the PAF. Right: The IBUKI covered by the fairing)
December 18, 2008 Updated
"IBUKI" moved to Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building
On Dec. 17, the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" was moved from the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building No. 2 (STA2) to the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building (SFA.)
The transportation started at 7:45 a.m., and the satellite was completely stored in the SFA at 8:15 a.m. The operation started 30 minutes after sunrise, thus the STA2 and the payload transportation container were lit by weak morning sunshine. You can see a pale morning moon on the upper right in the image.
We will start loading propellant on the IBUKI, encapsulate it by a payload fairing, then load the encapsulated satellite onto the launch vehicle to be ready for launch.
December 9, 2008 Updated
IBUKI open to the press at TNSC
On December 9, the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" was revealed to the press at the Spacecraft Test and Assembly Building #2 (STA2) at the Tanegasima Space Center (TNSC.) The IBUKI is now in its final preparation phase.
JAXA is accepting supportive messages to the IBUKI and its project team. We welcome your messages and images.
November 17, 2008 Updated
Certificate, tinned herb seeds presented to IBUKI's godparents
JAXA sent a certificate and tinned herb seeds to all 630 godparents of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI."
In our special site for the IBUKI, we are asking for supportive messages for the IBUKI and its project team. We are waiting for messages from those who are IBUKI's godparents as well as those who are not. Please express your expectations and support to us. The launch is only two months away. Your continuous support is very much appreciated.
November 5, 2008 Updated
Launch day of "IBUKI" set! Launch Special Site open
The launch day and lift-off time of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 (H-IIA F15) was announced to be between 12:54 and 1:16 p.m. on January 21, 2009. The main payload of the H-IIA F15 is the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT.)
At the same time, the "IBUKI Launch Special Site" was also opened. We will provide updated information on the IBUKI there. Please enjoy it.
The IBUKI was open to the press on Nov. 4 at the Tsukuba Space Center. It will be transported to the Tanegashima Space Center for final launch preparations.
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October 15, 2008 Updated
'IBUKI' Chosen as Nickname of the GOSAT
"IBUKI" was selected as the nickname of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT), which is scheduled to be launched this Japan fiscal year, after 12,683 applications were received from the general public.
IBUKI means "breath" or "puff", and as the GOSAT is a satellite to observe carbon dioxide, which is the Earth's puff (breath), the name reflects its mission. It also is hoped that the IBUKI will provide people with "vigor" and a "bright future."
The IBUKI is going to be transported to the Tanegashima Space Center soon for launch preparations.