Japan reportedly launched a spy satellite on Tuesday 12th June on an H-2A spacecraft. This spy satellite is designed to sustain even harsh weather conditions thereby extending the surveillance reach of the country.
The reconnaissance craft equipped with a radar was launched at near about 0420 GMT (12:20 a.m. EDT) from the Tanegashima Space Center, which is the major launch base of Japan situated in the country’s southern region on a distant island. This lift-off was the thirty-ninth time an H-2A rocket was launched in the country and it marked the 2nd H-2A launch in Japan in the year 2018.
The H-2A rocket designed to be near about one hundred seventy-four feet (fifty-three meters) tall had 2 strap-on solid spacecraft boosters. The rocket fired off from Tanegashima lighting it’s LE-7A primary engine fueled with hydrogen and flew southwards over the Pacific Ocean. The Japan Aerospace Exploration said that the Information Gathering Satellite, as planned previously, stationed smoothly from the upper stage of the H-2A.
Although the launch officials of Japan conventionally make the space launch’s video coverage available, the major contractors of the H-2A rocket, JAXA, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, did not do any such thing. This may be because the country does not provide live footages of the launch of its spy satellites.
The satellite known as IGS Radar 6 is equipped with a payload having “synthetic aperture radar imaging” capabilities, which could make the satellite function irrespective of the weather conditions.
The government of Japan has still not revealed the specifications of the spacecraft. However, the Japanese government has said that this spy satellite would work with a group of Information Gathering Satellites in the near future. These Information Gathering Satellites are run by the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center that works with the executive leadership of the Japanese government.
This IGS Radar 6 satellite reportedly is the 7th radar Reconnaissance Satellite of Japan. These work collaboratively with the “electro-optical surveillance satellites” that provide enhanced resolution provided the imaging is carried out under clear skies. Missions involving spy satellites begun in Japan in the year 1998 just after a missile of North Korea flew atop the Japanese territory.
The satellite launch was initially scheduled to take place on Monday but was delayed by twenty-four hours due to undesirable weather conditions.