SpaceGhost writes: Sky News reports that the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) has launched an orbital telescope on a new generation rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima, in southwestern Japan. The Epsilon rocket uses an onboard AI for autonomous launch checks by the rocket itself. Focusing on reducing costs, the new vehicle required 2 laptops and a launch team of 8, vs the 150 people needed to launch the previous platform, the M-5. Because of the reduced launch team and ease of construction, production and launch costs of the Epsilon are roughly half of the M-5. The payload, a SPRINT-A telescope, is designed for planetary observation.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759