Japan launches surveillance satellite to monitor North Korea, disasters
An H-2A rocket carrying Japan's first spy satellite lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center on the southern island of Tanegashima, some 1,000 km southeast of Tokyo, on Mar. 28, 2003. EPA-EFE FILE/JIJI PRESS
Tokyo, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Japan launched Tuesday a surveillance satellite to monitor North Korea's military installations and take pictures of areas affected by natural disasters, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
The radar satellite was launched using an H-2A rocket at 1.20 pm local time (4.20 am GMT) from the space center in Tanegashima, Kagoshima prefecture, JAXA said in a statement.
The aerospace agency confirmed that the rocket flew as planned and the data collection satellite separated correctly.
Radar satellites capture radio waves reflected from the ground and are capable of taking images even at night and without being affected by extreme weather conditions.
The Japanese government now has four of this kind in orbit, as well as two optical reconnaissance satellites. It seeks to have up to 10 in operation.