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  4. [[Series 2: Introduction of the Current Status of Small Japanese Satellites]] Introduction of SORUNSAT-1 (Kagayaki)

[[Series 2: Introduction of the Current Status of Small Japanese Satellites]] Introduction of SORUNSAT-1 (Kagayaki)

Six small piggyback satellites are planned to be launched in FY2008 together with JAXA's Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT).

As the second article in this series, the APRSAF secretariat interviewed Mr. Hiroshi Saegusa, project manager of small satellites (SORUNSAT-1) at Sorun Corp., to learn about the current developmental status of SORUNSAT-1 and his determination to develop it.

"At present (March 2008), we have finished manufacturing the Engineering Model (EM) and done the ground testing for it, and we will start manufacturing the Flight Model (FM)."

Sorun Corp. is now making efforts in activities for the support program Sorun Kids, which is for children who have intractable diseases or are handicapped and their families. The employees are acting as volunteers and communicating with the children and parents through some events (see Fig. 1).

This time we planned "an activity to connect children's dreams to space" by developing a small satellite. JAXA plans to launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) with an H-IIA rocket, and it will carry with this and other small piggyback satellites free of charge in the summer of 2008.
We call this activity the Kagayaki project (kagayaki means brilliant) and we have been implementing an Interaction Mission since December 2006 so that children can realize that space itself is close to them.

We have already implemented various events a total of seven times including a friendship meeting with Naoko Yamasaki, a Japanese female astronaut at JAXA (see Fig. 2).
After the launch, we are planning to take pictures of aurora from space as one of the satellite application missions. As a special mission, we plan to expand a parachute for de-orbiting so that after Kagayaki has completed its mission it does not stay in orbit for a long time as space debris.

We plan to print on the parachute a picture made using children's handprints and to take pictures of it with a camera fitted on the end of an inflatable boom.
This picture made from handprints has already been finished and we are now printing it on the parachute. It was completed with the participation of children from schools for handicapped students in the vicinity of Matsumoto City and Miyazaki City, where our pursuing center will be located, as well as the children of Sorun Kids (see Fig. 3).

And also we plan to implement an event called Space Bottle, in which we will transmit children's dreams and desires to Kagayaki (to be transmitted by persons qualified in the field of wireless transmission). We would like to expand the scope of exchange by making those dreams and desires known by people around the world.

Kagayaki is a satellite which is cram packed with a playful spirit as we mentioned above. In order to implement these plans, the satellite is equipped with various new technologies such as an autonomous control system by which the satellite itself can analyze the present situation and implement the necessity operations in response, and a superlight inflatable boom to stabilize its attitude in orbit. Even the engineers may have great fun operating it.

At present we are manufacturing the Flight Model so we cannot take a picture of the satellite.
A conceptual image of the completed satellite in orbit is shown in Fig. 4, and a conceptual image of the parachute (currently being designed) being deployed is shown in Fig. 5.

We are pleased to say that a professional designer who approved of the purpose of our project has kindly undertaken the task of designing the parachute.

Fig1. Soran Kids Family Camp
(August, 2007 Lake Kawaguchi)

Fig2. Friendship Meeting with a Japanese Astronaut, Naoko Yamasaki
(August, 2007 Tukuba Space Center)

Fig3. Space Parachute made by Soran Kids
(August, 2007 Lake Kawaguchi)

Fig4. SORUNSAT-1 (Kagayaki)
Imaginary Picture on Orbit
(August, 2007 Lake Kawaguchi)


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