Japan launched end Nov09 a next-generation spy satellite as part of efforts to beef up its surveillance system against the threat of North Korea’s missiles, officials said.
An H-2A rocket carrying the nation’s No. 3 Information Gathering Satellite was launched Saturday morning from Tanegashima Space Centre on Tanegashima island, southwestern Japan, the officials said.
The government-run satellite will replace the first model, with an advanced optical device to distinguish objects on the ground with a resolution of some 60 centimetres (24 inches), the officials and local media said.
Japan currently operates two optical satellites and a radar satellite, while planning to add another radar satellite by March 2013 to complete the system so that it will be able to monitor designated places on the Earth once a day.