Japan places third spy sat into orbit

15 Sep 2006

(Japan Economic Newswire via NewsEdge) The domestically developed H2A rocket has put Japan's third spy satellite into orbit. This space reconnaissance program involves a quartet of satellites orbiting Earth in formation to monitor the entire surface of the planet.

As a unit, the four satellites will observe every spot on the Earth's face at least once a day, grabbing digital snapshots of places the government wants to see.

The first two satellites were successfully launched in March 2003, but the program suffered a huge setback in November that year, when the liftoff of a rocket carrying the two remaining satellites failed.

The fourth satellite will be launched early next year to complete the set, three years behind schedule.

© 2006 Kyodo News International, Inc

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