Mission typeAstronomy
COSPAR ID1981-017A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.12307
Spacecraft properties
BOL mass185 kilograms (408 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date21 February 1981, 00:30:00 (1981-02-21UTC00:30Z) UTC[1]
Launch siteMu Pad, Kagoshima
End of mission
Decay date11 July 1991 (1991-07-12)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude548 kilometres (341 mi)
Apogee altitude603 kilometres (375 mi)
Inclination31.3 degrees
Period96.2 minutes
Epoch21 February 1981, 04:30:00 UTC[2]

Hinotori, also known as ASTRO-A before launch, was a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite. It was developed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). Its primary mission was to study of solar flares emanating from the Sun during the solar maximum.[3] It was launched successfully on February 21, 1981 using a M-3S rocket as the vehicle from Uchinoura Space Center (known at the time as Kagoshima). After the start of normal operation, it observed a large solar flare and, a month later, succeeded in observing 41 flares of many sizes from the Sun. It reentered the atmosphere on July 11, 1991.[4] The name Hinotori is the Japanese word for Phoenix.




  1. ^ JAXA, "Catalogue of ISAS Missions" Archived 2014-12-31 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2014-12-23.
  2. ^ "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Trajectory Details". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  3. ^ Gunter's Space Page, "Astro A (Hinotori)"; retrieved 2014-12-23.
  4. ^ ISAS, "Solar Observation HINOTORI (ASTRO-A)"; retrieved 2014-12-23.