Japan launches new spy satellite

Japan on Sunday successfully launched a back-up spy satellite, its aerospace agency said, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.

Tokyo put spy satellites into operation in the early 2000s after its erratic neighbour North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries delayed Thursday's planned launch of the H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, due to the possibility of lightning during lift-off.

The launch at 10:21 am (0121 GMT) on Sunday was successful, JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy said, adding: "We confirmed the rocket launched normally."

Four Japanese intelligence satellites are currently in orbit—two optical satellites and two radar satellites.

The backup satellite will supplement the two radar satellites, a government official said earlier.


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Japan to launch new spy satellite

© 2015 AFP

Citation: Japan launches new spy satellite (2015, February 1) retrieved 18 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-japan-spy-satellite.html
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