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Astro F

Also called Akari (light)


Designation 28939 / 06005A
Launch date 21 Feb 2006
Country of origin Japan
Mission Scientific: IR astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 745 km (sun-synchronous)
Inclination 98.2°
Period 96 min
Launch vehicle Mu 5 #29

It will perform an all-sky survey at infrared wavelengths, including those of stars and galaxies.
It was designed to make this survey with greater sensitivity and higher resolution than those achieved by the IRAS, the world's first infrared astronomical satellite.

Right after launch, a problem occured with attitude control (malfunction of the two-dimensional solar sensor (NSAS)). Power generation is stable. In mid-May 2006, the first images were received.

In May 2011, the satellite started to shutdown when its solar panels are not sunlit. If the battery issue cannot be resolved, the satellite would be pretty much unusable.

End of life

Decay 11 Apr 2023

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor  
Mass at launch 952 kg
Dry mass  
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime 550 days (cryogenic liffetime)

It is equipped with a 68.5 cm cooled telescope and two scientific instruments, namely the Far-Infrared Surveyor (FIS) and the Infrared Camera (IRC).

The FIS has two 2-dimensional detector arrays and observes in four far-infrared bands between 50 and 180µm.

The IRC consists of three cameras covering 1.7 - 26 µm with a field-of-view of approximately 10 × 10 arcminutes2. Both instruments have low to moderate resolution spectroscopic capabilities.

The instruments are kept at a temperature of 6 K by 170 litre of liquid helium. The helium supply will last for 550 days of observations.

Downlink: 2256.22 MHz

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