Ajisai 30th birthday

The Japanese Geodetic Satellite “Ajisai” was launched on 13 August 1986 in JST (12 August in UTC), and it has just reached 30 years old.  It has revolved around the Earth for more than 130000 times, and it is still being used.

JAXA has released the anniversary article: http://fanfun.jaxa.jp/topics/detail/8240.html (in Japanese only)

This has been one of the most frequently tracked satellites among a number of laser ranging targets.  Just 6 hours before it became 30, at 14:03 UTC, 12 Aug 2016, the satellite was tracked by the UK Herstmonceux laser ranging system.

This satellite was designed and manufactured nicely.  It has significantly contributed to geodesy, mapping, and space engineering, and it will be so in the future.

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Video & Photo: CP & TO.