Japan places third spy sat into orbit

15 Sep 2006
00:00

(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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