Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit tonight (March 16) to help keep an eye on the nation’s unpredictable, nuclear-armed neighbor, North Korea. The Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) Radar 5 lifted off atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 9:20 p.m. EDT (0120 GMT, and 10:20 a.m. local Japan time on March 17).
The satellite program’s main mission is to provide early warning of impending hostile launches in the neighborhood. This program is under direct control of the cabinet. All of the Information Gathering Satellites were launched by an H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. However, Earth observation is a rather new field for Japan
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構 Kokuritsu-kenkyū-kaihatsu-hōjin Uchū Kōkū Kenkyū Kaihatsu Kikō?, literally “National Research and Development Agency on Aerospace Research and Development”), or JAXA, is Japan’s national aero-space agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on 1 October 2003.
JAXA is responsible for research, technology development and the launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in many more advanced missions, such as asteroid exploration and possible manned exploration of the Moon.Its motto is One JAXAand its corporate slogan is Explore to Realize (formerly Reaching for the skies, exploring space)
In April 2013 Naoki Okumura, President Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) gave out this message regarding the future of Japan Space exploration.
Since assuming my post in April 2013, I have perceived that JAXA has been at the “stage of moving to a new step for entering the unexperienced phase from the state of technological verification which JAXA has been engaged in.” In that sense, I am working hard for a “new-born JAXA.”
More precisely, we aim to open up a new era by developing and leading aerospace technologies, utilizing them for providing solutions to social problems as well as academic challenges, and creating definite values.
Visuals From the Launch
About the Information Gathering Satellite (情報収集衛星Jōhō Shūshū Eisei?)
The IGS is a satellite in a Japanese spy satellite program. It was started as a response to the 1998 North Korean missile test over Japan. The satellite program’s main mission is to provide early warning of impending hostile launches in the neighborhood.
This program is under direct control of the cabinet. All of the Information Gathering Satellites were launched by an H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. However, Earth observation is a rather new field for Japan. The first Japanese mission in this field MOS-1 was launched only in 1987.
On 28 March 2003, presumably partly in response to North Korea’s launch of a Taepodong-1 rocket over Japan in 1998, and partly to provide a source of satellite images other than through cooperation with the US, where the US charged roughly USD $10,000 for each satellite image, Japan launched a radar and an optical spy satellite, officially known as IGS-1A and IGS-1B.
These satellites follow one another at 37-minute separation in a 492 km orbit, which passes over Pyongyang at 11:22 each day, according to observations collected on the seesat-L mailing list. This to me is a clear manifestation of the space misions they are embarking on.The first IGS craft lifted off in 2003. IGS Radar 5 is the 15th one in the program to take flight, though not all have made it to orbit.
Two were lost to a launch failure in November 2003.Some of the IGS spacecraft use optical sensors to study the ground below, whereas others depend on radar instruments. As its name suggests, IGS Radar 5 falls into this latter category.
Little else is known about the newly launched satellite; Japan does not reveal many details about its IGS spacecraft. It’s unclear, for example, what orbit IGS Radar 5 will inhabit, though some of the satellite’s predecessors are known to circle the Earth at an altitude of about 300 miles (480 kilometers).
Now every country is spying from the space in order to ultimate security.This shapes the utilization of space technology.I believe there is going to be another space launch recently, just watch out.