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Waspie_Dwarf

Japan Launches Spy Satellite

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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 08:44 GMT

Tokyo launches new spy satellite

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Japan has launched its fourth spy satellite, which will give it the capability to monitor any location around the globe. An H-2A rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from a base in southern Japan at 0441 GMT, officials said.

Tokyo began launching spy satellites in 2003, after North Korea fired a missile over Japan's main island in 1998. Japan sees itself as one of the top targets of the Communist state, which last year tested a nuclear bomb.

Satoki Kurokawa, a spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa), said the lift-off from the remote base was a success. Once the satellite is in orbit, Tokyo will be able to spy on any location in the world, officials say. The rocket also carried an experimental optical satellite that Tokyo hopes to use in the future to improve the quality of satellite images.

Before the launch, Japan already had three spy satellites in orbit. Two others were lost when a rocket failed in November 2003.

The launch also came a month after China destroyed its old weather satellite using a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile.

Source: BBC - News

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The H-IIA Launch Services press release is reproduced below:

H-IIA Flight No.12 Successfully Launched

H-IIA Flight No.12 successfully launched from Tanegashima Space Center on Saturday, February 24th, 2007 at 13:41 (Japan Standard Time) (05:41 GMT) and its flight went normally and separated R2&K3 as planned.

H-IIA rockets have made six consecutive success after Return To Flight by H-IIA Flight No.7 last year.

Source: H-IIA Launch Services Press Release pr-06-07

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the space war is on...more the merrier i guess?

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the space war is on...more the merrier i guess?

The space war has been on for nearly 5 decades.

Spy satellites are the one tool of the military which may actually prevent wars on the ground. By being able to watch the military build up of a potential enemy it is difficult to make a surprise assault on a nation which posses spy satellites. Because the opposition know this it prevents them attempting a surprise attack in the first place.

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For some reason I doubt that Japan is going to spy just on North Korea.

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