H2A#38 just launched with information gathering satellite ‘Optical #6’, 1:34pm, JST, Tanegashim Space Center, Kagoshima
H2A rocket #38 was launched 1:34 Japan Standard Time, February 27 with information gathering satellite optics #6 from Tanegashima Space Cener, Kagoshima southern Japan. The satellite successfully entered scheduled orbit. The satellite would help to monitor North Korea’s nuclear and missile development from space.
Optics satellite #6 will replace #4 that still functioning after its designed life and it carries sensors effective to photograph daytime.
It is reportedly to have resolution of about 30 cm to distinguish types of automobiles, twice resolution of satellite #4 with 60cm resolution.
Total development cost of the new satellite is about 30.7 billion JPY (about 290 million USD)and launch cost is about 11 billion JPY(103 million USD).
Japan operates two optic satellites and four radar satellites and tries to keep eyes over North Korea to photograph that country once a day at least.
In order to monitor North Korean military facilities more ,GOJ is trying to increase the number of satellites to ten, consisting of 4 optical and radar satellites each and two relaying satellites so that it becomes possible to monitor North Korea once in every 12 hours.
Gathered information is classified for security reason but GOJ released degraded photographs of natural disasters in Japan including heavy rain in northern Kyushu of last July and Mt. Shirane that erupted in January.
H2A, with this launching, made 32 consecutively successful launching with record of success at 97.3%.