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Artistic rendering of Hisaki in orbit.
Mission typeUltraviolet astronomy
COSPAR ID2013-049A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.39253
Mission duration~1 year planned (science phase)
elapsed: 8 years, 11 months and 4 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass340 kg (750 lb)
Dimensions4×1×1 m (13.1×3.3×3.3 ft)
Power900 watts
Start of mission
Launch date14 September 2013, 05:00 (2013-09-14UTC05Z) UTC
Launch siteUchinoura
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis7,431.52 kilometres (4,617.73 mi)[1]
Perigee altitude958 kilometres (595 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude1,162 kilometres (722 mi)[1]
Inclination29.72 degrees[1]
Period106.27 minutes[1]
Epoch23 January 2015, 18:21:14 UTC[1]

Hisaki, also known as the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) is a Japanese ultraviolet astronomy satellite operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The first mission of the Small Scientific Satellite program,[2] it was launched in September 2013 on the maiden flight of the Epsilon rocket.

Hisaki remains operational as of 2022, [3] and is performing joint observations with Juno orbiter.[4]

In October 2020 it performed joint observation with the BepiColombo probe which performed a flyby of Venus en route to Mercury.[5]

Hisaki was named after a cape Hisaki (火崎, literally Cape Fire) used by local fishermen to pray for safe travels in the eastern part of Kimotsuki, Kagoshima near the Uchinoura Space Center, but has the additional meaning of "beyond the Sun".[6][7] An old name for the mission was EXCEED (Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscope for Exospheric Dynamics).[8]


Hisaki carries an extreme ultraviolet spectrometer which will be used to study the composition of the atmospheres and the behavior of the magnetospheres of the planets of the Solar System.[9] Designed for a one-year mission, Hisaki has been operated in a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 950 km (590 mi), an apogee of 1,150 km (710 mi), 31 degrees of inclination and a period of 106 minutes.[10]


An Epsilon was used to launch Hisaki. Making its first flight, the four-stage Epsilon rocket[11] flew from the Mu rocket launch complex at the Uchinoura Space Center. The launch occurred at 05:00 UTC on 14 September 2013, following a scrubbed launch attempt on 27 August 2013.[12] Following its successful insertion into orbit and deployment of its solar arrays, the satellite was renamed Hisaki, having been designated SPRINT-A until that point.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "SPRINT-A (HISAKI) Satellite details 2013-049A NORAD 39253". N2YO. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Shujiro Sawai, "Semi-Made-To-Order" Satellites: Faster, Cheaper, More Advanced". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  3. ^ Astronomical Observation Satellites In Operation. JAXA - Missions. Accessed 23 September 2015
  4. ^ Response of Jupiter's inner magnetosphere to the solar wind derived from extreme ultraviolet monitoring of the Io plasma torus. Go Murakami, Kazuo Yoshioka, Atsushi Yamazaki, Fuminori Tsuchiya, Tomoki Kimura, Chihiro Tao, Hajime Kita, Masato Kagitani, Takeshi Sakanoi, Kazunori Uemizu, Yasumasa Kasaba, Ichiro Yoshikawa, Masaki Fujimoto. Geophysical Research Letters. 20 December 2016, doi: 10.1002/2016GL071675
  5. ^ "BepiColombo flies by Venus en route to Mercury".
  6. ^ "SPRINT-A: Solar Array Paddles Deployment and Nickname Decided". JAXA. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  7. ^ イプシロン観測衛星、愛称は「ひさき」と命名. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun-sha. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  8. ^ F. Tsuchiya, et al. - Earth-orbiting Extreme Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Mission SPRINT-A/EXCEED
  9. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "SPRINT A (EXCEED)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Integration of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A)". Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Epsilon Launch Vehicle" (PDF). Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  12. ^ Graham, William (26 August 2013). "Japan's Epsilon launch with SPRINT-A scrubbed". Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  13. ^ Clark, Stephen (14 September 2013). "Japan's 'affordable' Epsilon rocket triumphs on first flight". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 14 September 2013.