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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 13, 2007

KAGUYA HAS LAUNCHED!

LIFTOFF at 10:31:01!!

Camera vibrates as it lifts off...

Wow that's a fast rocket...nice camera...detail in the exhaust trail is beautiful...

Beautiful conic flame, as the rocket begins to disappear into the upper-level haze...

SSB Burnout!

SSBs have been jettisoned...

SRB-A burnout...these are all the large boosters on the H-IIA rocket...

SRB-A jettison...rocket is now barely visible on the camera...

Tracking has begun...

Altitude 98 kilometers; velocity 2 kilometers per second...

No longer visible on the camera...

Five minutes after liftoff, the flight is going smoothly. Altitude 140 kilometers; velocity 3 kilometers per second.

First stage system is running well. Attitue control and other subsystems are all working nominally.

Now they have cut from the view of the launch to the view of two men in hardhats speaking -- perhaps about what to expect next. Unfortunately, there is only one Japanese word I understand, the one that means "yes." So I can't tell you what they're talking about!

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Emily Lakdawalla

Solar System Specialist for The Planetary Society
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