Japan Has Launched the Smallest Rocket Ever to Put a Satellite Into Orbit

Pocket Rocket

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) made history on Saturday, February 3, by using the smallest rocket ever to launch a satellite into orbit. The agency modified an SS-520 sounding rocket with an extra third stage in the nose cone to give the micro-satellite, a 3-kg (6.6-lb) TRICOM-1R, its final boost into orbit.

The launch seems to have gone off without a hitch. JAXA lists the satellite’s status as being in the “nominal” or observation phase, according to the Verge.

JAXA has no plans at this juncture to complete regular flights with its smallest rocket, yet there is a trend in the spaceflight industry that is leading to an uptick in interest for such launches. New Zealand’s Rocket Lab has been working on developing a smaller rocket to fill the gap in the need for smaller-scale trips into space.

Increased Interest

SpaceX is clearly the industry leader in terms of satellite launches and International Space Station resupply missions, yet institutions looking to launch smaller satellites are exploring cheaper alternatives to buying a spot on a massive SpaceX launch. Rocket Lab and JAXA are among the first to show much progress in this sector.

The Rockets That Put Us Into Space [INFOGRAPHIC]
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JAXA’s achievement will stand in stark contrast to SpaceX’s next milestone, the eagerly awaited launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. This massive launch will stand at the opposite end of the spectrum as the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. SpaceX has been issued an official launch license for a February 6 takeoff.

The future of space travel has room enough for the entire spectrum of launch technology, from the mini-rocket all of the way up to the Falcon Heavy-scale goliaths. Space is a virtually untapped resource holding an abundance of knowledge and utility for those willing to reach out and grab it.

The post Japan Has Launched the Smallest Rocket Ever to Put a Satellite Into Orbit appeared first on Futurism.


Japan launches smallest rocket ever to carry satellite into orbit

Japan has set a new spaceflight record — and unlike most of these feats, it's defined by what wasn't involved. The country's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched the smallest-ever rocket to carry a satellite into orbit, a m…
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The Zanco Tiny T1 Is the Smallest Phone in the World

Whether for better or for worse phones are getting bigger and bigger. They have high definition, multitouch displays, high performance CPUs, fantastic cameras, and more. But bigger isn’t always better and there are people who want a more traditional cell phone – as well as others who may enjoy the novelty of a compact phone.

Enter the Zanco Tiny T1. It’s, well… tiny. At just 21mm by 46.7mm, 12mm thin, and weighing only 13 grams, and looks something like a flash drive. It doesn’t have an Internet browser, apps, or a touch screen. In fact, its tiny OLED display measures just 12mm across.

Blast from the Past

As it doesn’t have a data plan, the phone operates on a traditional 2G network. It has a battery that will last up to 3 days in standby and offers up to three hours of talk time. Charging the device takes less than one hour.

You can send and receive text messages, just be prepared for a nostalgic trip back to the 90s. The phone only has enough storage space for 50 text messages.

There is no word yet on whether or not the messages will be threaded. Also, keep in mind you’ll have to peck out messages on a numerical keypad.

Don’t expect to be able to store a lot of contacts either; the phone only has room for 300 contacts.

Zanco says there will be ringtones to choose from, but they don’t know how many at this time.

The device is perfect for a backup device or a hidden phone for safety and emergencies. Its small size lets you transport it easily and a lanyard can be attached.

If you’re worried about not having 3G or 4G network capabilities, don’t be. The phone doesn’t have internet browsing capabilities so 2G is all you need.

The phone is an unlocked, quad band device. It accepts a nano SIM card, so as long as your network supports its 2G capability you should be just fine.

While the Tiny T1 isn’t available yet, it’s currently on Kickstarter and its price is tiny, too. You can back the project for about $ 50. It’s currently surpassed its funding goal of about $ 33K and the campaign ends on January 18.

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