Japan's Epsilon rocket with onboard AI successfully launches

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James Trew
September 14th, 2013
In this article: epsilon, japan, jaxa, launch, rocket, space
Japan's Epsilon rocket with onboard AI successfully launches

Affordable is a relative term, but in the world of rocket science Japan's recently launched Epsilon qualifies as such. Costing just $37-million (albeit not directly comparable, NASA claims a typical launch costs around $450-million) to send off, Jaxa -- Japan's space agency -- rightly considers it a steal. Epsilon launched from the south-west of the country at 2pm local time. Its mission? To deploy a telescope that Jaxa advises will observe our neighboring planets from its position in Earth's orbit. The cost efficiency is being put down to the rocket's artificial intelligence, something that slashes the man-power needed from 150 to 8. Let's just hope the thriftiness wasn't just to fund that other recent launch.

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