Edinburgh/ Andøya, 8 November 2021. – Japanese research rocket SS-520-3 was launched from Andøya Space launch site, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard on 4th November to investigate the cusp region, Andøya Space reported.
The cusp region is the focus of the Grand Challenge Initiative Project Cusp. The Earth’s magnetic field has created a funnel in this region which will be examined by twelve sounding rockets. The project is to advance our understanding of the funnel’s space physics.
The SS-520-3 rocket investigated the microscopic mechanism of the ion acceleration and heating in the region. The Japanese spacecraft carried out high time resolution in-situ measurements of the plasma particles and waves, Andøya Space said.
The two-stage suborbital sounding rocket reached an apogee of about 750 km, which is further than the ISS. The mission was supported by telemetry antennas at Ny-Ålesund, Longyearbyen and Andøya. Professor Yoshifumi Saito from JAXA supervised the mission.