Tokyo, Dec 26: A key antenna on Japan's largest
satellite has failed to unfold successfully due to a technical
glitch, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said on Tuesday.
Jaxa officials tried to deploy the transmission antenna
aboard the Kiku No. 8 Communication Satellite, but halted work
after a release mechanism failed to operate properly,
according to agency official Masanori Suzuki.
The reception antenna unfolded successfully, but the
communications satellite will not work until both antennas
are operable, Suzuki said.
The agency planned another attempt to deploy the
problematic antenna later today.
Jaxa launched the country's largest satellite to date,
the Kiku No. 8, on a domestically developed H2-A rocket on
The agency had planned to use the Kiku for
telecommunications and to conduct sensitive measurements of
time, calibrating a high-precision clock onboard with similar
clocks on the ground.