Japan launches optical spy satellite to keep eye on North Korea
Japan Times -- Feb 10
Japan on Sunday put a new spy satellite into orbit that is expected to help the government capture images of North Korean missile sites.

The spy satellite was carried by an H-IIA rocket launched at 10:34 a.m. from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The satellite entered orbit about 20 minutes later.

The satellite, which cost ¥ 34.3 billion to develop, is equipped with a super-telephoto digital camera.

The launch, which cost ¥11 billion, was previously set for Jan. 28 but was delayed by a leaky nitrogen pipe.

The spy satellite will take over from one of seven other reconnaissance satellites believed to be monitoring North Korean missile and other developments.

The government currently operates five radar and two optical satellites, and aims to use a total of 10 in the future.

政府の情報収集衛星を載せたH2Aロケットが9日午前に種子島宇宙センターから打ち上げられました。  H2Aロケット41号機は午前10時34分に打ち上げられました。予定の軌道で衛星を切り離しました。この情報収集衛星「光学7号機」は北朝鮮の弾道ミサイルの監視や災害時の現場の確認などに利用されるということです。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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