Earth Observation Mission News
Japan’s Tsubame records lowest ever satellite altitude
06 January 2020
Tsubame, an Earth Observation satellite developed by Japan's space agency JAXA, has been registered by the Guinness World Records as having achieved the "lowest altitude by an Earth observation satellite in orbit," for an altitude of 167.4 km. The 383kg satellite was decommissioned on 01 Oct, 2019.
Tsubame maintained seven different orbital altitudes, and operated at an all-time low of 167.4 km. From this altitude, it managed to capture high-resolution satellite images despite the atmospheric drag and oxygen density, and propelled itself using an ion engine system and gas-jet thrusters. It also acquired data on atmospheric density, atomic oxygen density, and the level of deterioration of material samples that were exposed to the atmosphere.
Source: SpaceTech Asia
Image credit: JAXA - Tsubame