Feeds

Japan launches, orbits radar spy satellite

Fingers crossed that this one can snoop Norks

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully put a radar satellite into orbit, ready to watch over its own shores and keep an eye on North Korea.

While Japan already has three operational optical satellites, it hasn’t had an awful lot of luck with radar systems, which are essential to penetrate cloud cover and operate at night. Two previous radar satellites have made it into orbit, but then malfunctioned relatively quickly and are now considered space junk. There’s also an optical satellite launched in September that isn’t fully operational, according to Space.com.

The satellite was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 0121 GMT aboard a JAXA H-IIA launch vehicle, similar to those that service the International Space Station. Toshiyuki Miura, spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the satellite, told AFP that all was going according to plan – so far. “The rocket was launched successfully," he said. "The satellite was separated into orbit around the Earth later."

A second radar satellite launch is planned for next year, and the eventual goal is to have coverage in place that will make responding to both overseas threats and domestic disasters a lot easier.

"The project is aimed at boosting security and monitoring land in case of sizable natural disasters like the one in March," a government official said, adding that the current three satellites were used to track that month's earthquakes and tsunami.

"If everything goes smoothly, it will be the first radar satellite under the programme," the official said. "With the radar satellite, we can introduce wider usage of the system." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.