The Japanese campaign is set to investigate the upper atmospheric dynamics and energetics in the polar lower thermosphere using a S-310 sounding rocket.

Campaign Status

 Sunday 25 January 2009

Countdown began at 17:00, local time.
After keeping the launch vehicle in shelter for several hours, the wind decreased to acceptable levels, and the launch vehicle was elevated to vertical position.
After a brief hold, the PI accelerated the countdown from T-30 to T-12 minutes, due to an interesting and developing science condition.

01:15, local time, all launch criteria were fulfilled, and the S-310-39 soared to space in a textbook launch.
Andøya was unfortunately covered with clouds, but the sites in Tromsø and Abisko had clear skies.

This is the final update in this campaign.
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Today´s Photos

 Saturday 24 January 2009
Countdown began at 17:00, local time. The S-310-39 remained under shelter for the duration of the countdown. Some aurora appeared, but electron density was not up to the desired levels, and wind gusts exceeded safety limits. The PI decided to cancel the launch attempt at 02:30, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Friday 23 January 2009
Countdown began at 17:00, local time. Local winds were to great for the launch vehicle to elevate, so the countdown held at T-1:30 for several hours before elevating the S-310-39 to vertical position and progressing down to T-30 minutes. With no hope for the desired science conditions to appear, the PI chose to abort the launch attempt at 01:30, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Thursday 22 January 2009
The three hour countdown began at 17:00, local time. The launch vehicle remained in shelter while waiting for a rain shower to pass the area. The rain travelled out to sea, however, and the S-310-39 was elevated to vertical position. The countdown held at T-30 minutes for several hours, waiting for the aurora - which didn´t appear at all tonight. Progressing down to T-12 minutes for the last couple of hours, the PI chose to abort the launch attempt at about 03:00, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Wednesday 21 January 2009
The campaign team enjoyed a day off.

 Tuesday 20 January 2009
The countdown began at 17:00, local time and progressed down to T-1:30 and holding. Weather and science conditions chose not to cooperate tonight, and the launch vehicle had to remain in shelter. The operation was cancelled at about local midnight.
Today´s Photos

 Monday 19 January 2009
Countdown began at 15:00, local time and progressed down to T-1:30 and paused there for a while. Then, as science and launch conditions improved, the countdown continued down to T-12 minutes.

Today´s launch attempt was aborted at 23:30, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Sunday 18 January 2009
The countdown began as usual at 15:00, local time. The vehicle was elevated to vertical position, and the countdown was paused at T-30 minutes.

Although clear skies over the optical sites for most of tonight, local wind at Andenes dictated that the vehicle had to be brought down in to the shelter again. The wind situation did not improve despite a one hour extension of the countdown, and it was decided to cancel the operation at local midnight.
Today´s Photos

 Saturday 17 January 2009
Weather and science conditions was very promising tonight, and the countdown progressed down to T-12 minutes before holding. All optical sites reported good conditions, but alas, the science conditions did not reach the desired levels.

The launch window was extended with an additional 20 minutes to allow for more time to evaluate the situation. Ultimately the countdown was cancelled at 23:20, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Friday 16 January 2009
The weather forecast for northern Norway leaves no hope for a launch today, so campaign managers decided to cancel tonight´s countdown. The next countdown is scheduled for Saturday.

 Thursday 15 January 2009
The three hour countdown began at 15:00, local time. Local weather had improved since yesterdays count, and it was decided to elevate the launcher for the first time in this campaign.

But the desired launch conditions did not appear. It was decided to abort the countdown at about 21:00, local time.
Today´s Photos

 Wednesday 14 January 2009
The countdown began at 15:00 local time, but weather conditions at all three optical sites did not favour a launch today. The countdown was cancelled at about 19:00.
Today´s Photos

 Tuesday 13 January 2009
A pre-flight meeting was held at 10:30, local time. All stations reported ready to proceed to the countdown rehearsal. The PI, dr Takumi Abe gave a presentation of the science objectives for Delta-2.

The practice countdown began at 14:30, local time, and finished at about 18:00. All stations was satisfied with the rehearsal. The first hot countdown will be conducted tomorrow.
Today´s Photos

 Monday 12 January 2009
The payload was transported from the laboratory building to the motor assembly hall in the launch area. There the payload was integrated with the motor and brought out to the U3 launcher.

Umbilical cables and firing lines were connected and then the stack was wrapped in styrofoam to protect it from the elements when elevated during countdown.

Today´s Photos

 Sunday 11 January 2009
All team members have been granted a day off today.

 Friday 9 - Saturday 10 January 2009
Both ARR and ISAS/JAXA teams were busy preparing the ground support equipment for this mission. ARR performed a Range-readiness test on Saturday.

 Thursday 8 January 2009
A relatively calm day with lots of weather. The campaign team continued to check the ground support equipment to be used in this mission.

 Wednesday 7 January 2008
The day was spent checking the ground support equipment for this campaign, testing squibs and unpacking some of the imaging equipment.
Today´s Photos

 Tuesday 6 January 2009
Welcome to the first daily status update in this rocket campaign from snowy Andøya.

Some of the Japanese team members arrived today, joining the ones that landed on Monday. The day was spent unpacking the payload and the rocket motor.

A meeting was held at 13:00 LT, where the various Norwegian and Japanese personnel introduced themselves to each other.
Today´s Photos

The S-310-39 sounding rocket will release trimethyl aluminum (TMA) along the trajectory, which will be observed by ground based cameras at three sites. The hope is to derive high resolution neutral winds, not only horizonal but also vertical winds in this experiment.

The DELTA 2 campaign is managed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan.

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator for DELTA 2 is dr. Takumi Abe.

Launch Site

The S-310-39 vehicle is to be launched from the U3 launcher at Andøya.

Scientific Instruments

  • NTV (N2 Temperature of Vibration)
  • IAF (Imaging Attitude Finder)
  • TMA (Trimethyl aluminium chemical release wind measurement)

Launch Window

The rocket can be launched any day between January 14th to the 28th.

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