The BBC reports Japan launches 'affordable' Epsilon space rocket
Japan has launched the first in a new generation of space rockets, hoping the design will make missions more affordable.If it can be automated, it will. I am wondering "what cannot be automated?
The Epsilon rocket is about half the size of Japan's previous generation of space vehicles, and uses artificial intelligence to perform safety checks.
Japan's space agency Jaxa says the Epsilon cost $37m (£23m) to develop, half the cost of its predecessor.
Jaxa said the Epsilon was not only cheaper to produce, but also cheaper to launch than the M-5.
Because of its artificial intelligence, the new rocket needs only eight people at the launch site, compared with 150 people for earlier launches.
Japan's other recent space innovations included sending a talking robot to the International Space Station.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock