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Hinode launch and orbit


Image courtesy of JAXA


Hinode launch


The Hinode satellite was launched with an ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) MV rocket. The MV was a member of the Mu family of rockets developed in Japan and was a solid-fuel rocket designed to launch scientific satellites.


Louise Harra

The MV had three stages and was 30.7 m high, 2.5 m in diameter, and weighed about 140 tonnes – that’s as heavy as 13 double-decker buses! The solid fuel was aluminium but the rocket also contained ammonium perchlorate which acted as a substitute for oxygen in the vacuum of space and allowed the fuel to ‘burn’.


Solar-B was carried on the final launch of the MV series. A new generation of rockets, known as the ‘Advanced Solid Rocket’, is now under development.


Hinode launches


Launch of Hinode 22nd September 2006



  Image courtesy of ISAS.

Solar-B (Hinode) sitting in the nose-cone of the MV rocket. Its solar panels are shown folded up, but were opened out once the spacecraft was successfully in orbit.


You can see how big Hinode is in relation to the people standing on the platform.


To find out more about rockets have a look at the Suntrek section how do rockets work?


Hinode orbit


Hinode is in a polar orbit that will provide continuous coverage of the Sun for more than eight months of the year. Hinode orbits the Earth in 98 min at an average altitude of 680 km, which is known as Low Earth Orbit or LEO.

Animation showing the polar orbit of Hinode. It is reproduced here courtesy of Goddard Spaceflight Center

  [Movie file 1mb or more - High quality]


Hinode orbit


To find out more about different types of orbit vist the Suntrek section what do satellites do?






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