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Japan launches Radar-5 reconnaissance satellite

March 17

Japan launched a reconnaissance satellite aboard a H2A rocket on Friday.

The rocket took off at 10:20 a.m. local time from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, some 24 hours later than the original schedule due to bad weather.

The satellite separated from the rocket about 20 minutes after the launch and entered into the preselected orbit, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The launch was the 33rd flight of an H-2A rocket, and the second H-2A launch this year.

The satellite, built by Mitsubishi Electric and launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is to replace the Radar 3 launched in 2011 and will be run by Japan's Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center.

Japan has built a reconnaissance satellite network comprising two radar satellites, a spare and three optical satellites.

The Japanese government is planning to bring the number of reconnaissance satellites in operation to ten in an effort to increase the frequency of photographing.