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    HomeWorldJapan Successfully Launches an Intelligence-Gathering Satellite to Watch for North Korean Missiles

    Japan Successfully Launches an Intelligence-Gathering Satellite to Watch for North Korean Missiles

    Japan Successfully Launches an Intelligence-Gathering Satellite to Watch for North Korean Missiles

    TOKYO — successfully launched a rocket carrying a government intelligence-gathering satellite Friday on a mission to watch movements at sites in North Korea and to improve responses to natural disasters.

    The H2A rocket, launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, carrying the optical satellite as part of Tokyo's reconnaissance effort to rapidly build up its military capability.

    The government's Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center and MHI declared the launch a success, saying that the Optical-8 satellite was successfully separated from the rocket and entered its planned orbit.

    The optical satellite can capture detailed images, though its capability is limited in severe weather. Japan began the intelligence-gathering satellite program after a North Korean missile flew over Japan in 1998. Japan aims to set up a network of 10 satellites, including those carrying radars that can operate at night or in severe weather, to spot and provide early warning for possible missile launches.

    Applauding the successful launch, Hiroki Yasuda, a senior official at the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center, told reporters that the Optical-8 is crucial to Japan's information-gathering capability.

    “With the security environment surrounding Japan becoming increasingly severe and uncertain and growing natural disaster risks, intelligence satellites are…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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