Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A, nicknamed HISAKI) employs the primary mirror made by Nikon

September 17, 2013

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched the Epsilon Launch Vehicle with the SPRINT-A onboard on September 14, 2013, from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. Thereafter, the SPRINT-A was injected into the orbit and named HISAKI. HISAKI is the world’s first space telescope dedicated for remote observation of the planets such as Venus, Mars, and Jupiter from the orbit (approx. 1,000 km altitude) around the earth.

Nikon Corporation (President: Makoto Kimura, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) joins this project by providing the primary mirror (20 cm in diameter) for the telescope. The base material of the primary mirror is silicon carbide (SiC) that is extremely hard to process, but our high-precision processing technology made it possible to fabricate the mirror.

Nikon has been collaborating in the development of many satellites and space probes including the land observing satellite DAICHI (launched in January 2006), the infrared astronomy satellite AKARI (launched in February 2006), and the Venus climate orbiter AKATSUKI (launched in May 2010). Nikon will continue to support challenging projects dealing with space observation and measurement by leveraging our advanced optical design capabilities and high-precision processing technologies.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.