Epsilon-4 puts 7 satellites into orbit

Japan’s Epsilon-4 rocket has put into orbit seven small satellites that were developed by private-sector companies and universities.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, launched the 26-meter-long rocket carrying the satellites on Friday morning from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

The rocket placed the largest of the satellites into orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometers about 51 minutes after the launch. The other six were then released into orbit one by one as planned.

JAXA developed the Epsilon series with the aim of putting small satellites into orbit at a low cost. The Epsilon-1 was launched six years ago.