Tokyo, Jan 26 (EFE).- Japan launched Thursday a rocket to put into orbit a reconnaissance satellite aimed at monitoring weather with a view to improving the country’s response to potential natural disasters and also to conduct military surveillance.
The 46 H2A rocket, operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, took off at around 10:50 am from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southwest Japan, a day later than scheduled due to bad weather in the area amid an ongoing severe cold wave.
The radar satellite successfully separated from the rocket and entered its planned orbit without any incident, the company said.
The satellite has the ability to capture images of the ground at night as well as during adverse weather conditions, so the Japanese authorities hope that it will transmit data in the event of a natural disaster that can be used to improve their response to the catastrophe.
The radar satellite would also be able to monitor movements in nearby military installations, such as those of North Korea, as other similar devices in orbit are already doing.
The liquid fueled H2A rocket is 53 meters long and has a diameter of four meters.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is scheduled to launch for the first time its H3 rocket, the successor to the H2A.
The rocket has been jointly developed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. EFE