Tag Archives: Tanegashima

H-2A places a Japanese spysat into orbit

Japan has launched their newest radar spy satellite, the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) Radar 5, aboard the H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center.  It joins an existing constellation of spy satellites which Japan began assembling in 1998 following a North Korean missile launch that flew over Japanese territory.  Officially, the IGS program supports civilian needs, such as disaster awareness, but the unspoken main goal is to keep tabs on Japan’s enemies.  This launch of course was not in response to last week’s North Korean missile tests; satellites and launch vehicles take years to plan and procure.  But I am sure Japan hopes for it to send a message all the same: we are watching.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Space

Himawari 9 launched from Japan!

Himawari 9, Japan’s latest weather satellite, has been launched into orbit by the H-2 rocket from scenic Tanegashima:

Himawari 9 will head up to geosynchronous orbit, where it will sit as an on-orbit spare for Himawari 8.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, maker of the H-2 rocket, has announced their intention to offer the H-2 on the commercial launch market.  It’s going to be interesting to see how things heat up over the next few years; it almost starts to seem as if we may have too many commercial providers.  But if nothing else, it will create competition, and that’s usually good for business.  It’s going to be a fun few years for space geeks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Space