Uchinoura Space Center (USC)
About the Uchinoura Space Center
The Uchinoura Space Center (USC) launches sounding rockets and scientific satellites and also manages tracking and data. This space center was established in Uchinoura (now Kimotsuki), Kagoshima prefecture, in 1962 as part of the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, when the original facility in Iwaki (now Yuri-Honjo), Akita prefecture, was closed down. In 1964, the space center became part of the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo; in 1981 it became an independent research facility, the Kagoshima Space Center (KSC), attached to the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). Its name was changed to the Uchinoura Space Center (USC) when the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was formed.
From the USC, many astronomical survey satellites and planetary probes mainly for scientific purposes have been launched since Japan's first satellite, "Osumi," was launched in 1970. Also, sounding rockets, such as the S-310 and the S-510, have been launched to conduct research on the middle atmosphere and on space plasma.
Moreover, 20-meter and 30-meter antennas receive telemetry from satellites to track and control them while in the earth’s orbit. The 34-meter antenna can backup the 64-meter deep-space antenna at the Usuda Deep Space Center.