Japan to have 2 rocket launch sites again

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Wednesday it will put into reuse the launch system at the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture to fire off its next-generation Epsilon rocket.

The launch system had long been used to blast off solid fuel rockets before its use has been reduced to the launch of small experimental rockets since the retirement of the M-V rocket, the predecessor of the 24-meter-long Epsilon.

The Hayabusa unmanned space probe, which ended a seven-year round trip to the asteroid Itokawa last June, is one of the rockets launched from the center in the town of Kimotsuki in the prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

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