Japan on Tuesday launched its first military communications satellite to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces as they reinforce an island chain stretching along the southern edge of the East China Sea.
A Japanese H-2A rocket launched the Himawari-9 geostationary weather satellite Tuesday, marking the workhorse rocket’s second and final launch of 2016.
The launch of Japan's first dedicated military communications satellite will be delayed by two years after a mishap with a blue tarpaulin damaged sensitive antennas during transportation to Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, two government sources told Reuters.
Japan’s DSN-1 X-band military communications satellite was damaged during transport from Japan to Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport in South America and will miss its planned summer launch aboard a European heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket, also delaying its intended co-passenger, India’s GSAT-18 telecommunications satellite, industry officials said.
Japan put its military on alert on Wednesday to shoot down any North Korean rocket that threatens it, while South Korea warned the North it would pay a "severe price" if it goes ahead with a satellite launch that South Korea considers a missile test.
As American and Japanese officials praised the strong relationship the two countries share in civil and military space activities, one Japanese officials at a recent forum said he sought to elevate his country’s role in that partnership.
The new-version H-2A is designed to offer up to three commercial flights per year with improved orbital-injection features.
Japan is planning to expand its fleet of reconnaissance satellites as part of an effort to improve the nation’s monitoring of North Korea and the Chinese navy. The move comes as Japan strengthens its military ties with the United States.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on March 9 booked its third export order for the H-2A rocket in a contract to launch the 350-kilogram Khalifasat Earth observation satellite for the United Arab Emirates’ government-owned EIAST organization.
Japan's new space policy's focus on security is a shift from its earlier policy that emphasized the peaceful use of outer space, borne out of a resolution passed in Diet in 1969.
Exactly five years to the day after Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft sped past Venus without entering orbit, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will try again Dec. 7 to put the probe into orbit around the second planet from the sun.
Japan’s Finance Ministry has approved a combined space budget of $2.75 billion for fiscal year 2015, an 18.5 percent increase over the current fiscal year that ends March 30.
Successful launch provides on-orbit insurance for radar portion of four-satellite constellation.
A Japanese H-2A rocket on Dec. 3 launched the nation’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission from the Tanegashima Space Center.