Unha-2 Revisited

A “hot item”:http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0904/10northkorea/ by Craig Covault is all the talk right now:

North Korean rocket flew further than earlier thought
BY CRAIG COVAULT
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: April 10, 2009

New details emerging from the analysis of data from North Korea’s April 5 Taepo-Dong-2 test indicate the vehicle flew successfully several hundred miles further than previously believed and used more advanced steering than has been demonstrated by the North Korean’s before.

The rocket impacted as far as 2,390 miles from the launch site as opposed to about 1,900 miles as earlier announced by the U. S. and Japan.

Smoke puffs from the side of the vehicle at the moment of liftoff and after, indicate the rocket could have been equipped with attitude control thrusters.

It also temporarily flew in space before failing and dropping back into the atmosphere at relatively slow speed that enabled debris to survive till impact rather than burning up.

If I’m not mistaken, this is the second time that the distance flown has been revised upward.

Do “check it out”:http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0904/10northkorea/ — there are a number of new details here.

In Praise of the Japanese Press

I was curious to see if anyone had this story earlier; apparently not. But oh, what I did find! Possibly we here in Hmerica don’t pay enough attention to the Japanese press. Even a week ago, Tokyo reporters had all kinds of details that have yet to make the _New Wall York Washington Street Times Journal Post_, so far as I’ve noticed.

No excuses, folks: it’s on the web, and it’s in English.

This “April 4 article”:http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200904040057.html by Kuniichi Tanida in _Asahi Shimbun_ clues us in to the vast network of sensors around Japan, including this now-infamous one, which turns out to have been brand-spanking-new:

bq. The Defense Ministry also completed installation of FPS-5 radar on Shimokoshikijima island in Kagoshima Prefecture in March. The radar began operating Wednesday and will transmit information about the launch to the Aegis destroyers and the units operating the PAC-3 missiles.

A number of Japanese wire reports on “late”:http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D97BMBI80&show_article=1 “April 4”:http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japanese-govt-erroneously-reports-launch-of-n-korean-rocket and newspaper reports on “April 5”:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090405TDY01306.htm reveal that Japan suffered not one but _two_ false missile-launch warnings. One also reveals that the FPS-5 has earned the nickname “Gamera”:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090405TDY01306.htm.

“Told ya”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1915/japan-shakes-its-fist-at-north-koreas-rocket. Well, sort of.

!/images/97.jpg! !/images/98.jpg!

(“Ginormous golf ball”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1986/all-teed-up-and-nowhere-to-go, eat your heart out.)

This “April 10 commentary”:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090410TDY04302.htm by Tetsuya Harada also reports a series of snafus related to the positioning of Patriot batteries:

A PAC-3 system being moved from Hamamatsu Air Base to Camp Akita in Akita Prefecture was driven down the wrong road and onto a baseball field and damaged property as it was driven back to the right road, ending up stuck at the scene of the accident for more than three hours.

[snip]

To prepare for the recent missile launch, the SDF deployed PAC-3 missiles to five other locations, including SDF camps in Akita and Iwate prefectures and the Defense Ministry compound in Ichigaya, Tokyo, after anticipating the possible path of a North Korean missile. However, part of the missile’s path appears to have been outside the range of the PAC-3s.

Who knew? But the pick of the litter has to be this “April 7 article”:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090407TDY03102.htm by Hidemichi Katsumata and Shozo Nakayama of _Yomiuri Shimbun_. It’s a proverbial gold mine of information on the flight profile and tracking of the Unha-2. “Check it out”:http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20090407TDY03102.htm.

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