TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s government said it will launch a back-up spy satellite on Sunday, after cancelling an earlier lift-off due to bad weather.
Tokyo put spy satellites into operation in the early 2000s after its elusive neighbour North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.
Four Japanese intelligence satellites are currently in orbit – two optical satellites and two radar satellites.
The backup satellite will supplement the two radar satellites, a government official said Friday.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries delayed the planned Thursday launch of the H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southwestern Japan.