News / Asia

Japan Launches South Korean Satellite Into Orbit

An H-2A rocket carrying four satellites including one from South Korea blasts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the Japanese southwestern island of Tanegashima, May 18, 2012
An H-2A rocket carrying four satellites including one from South Korea blasts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the Japanese southwestern island of Tanegashima, May 18, 2012
SEOUL - Early Friday, Japan successfully launched a South Korean satellite. The historical accomplishment puts the Japanese in the same arena as European and Russian entities in the lucrative commercial space launch business.

 The roar of the H-2A launch vehicle shattered the early morning silence On the southern Japanese island of Tanegashima.  The space center was illuminated as the liquid-fueled 57-meter high two-stage rocket rose off the pad with four satellites on board.

Sixteen minutes after launch, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the first payload had successfully separated.

The Arirang-3 satellite (also known as KOMPSAT-3) was then placed into orbit. The Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) says it is functioning normally.

Also deployed Friday from the H-2A rocket was a satellite with the world's largest revolving antenna. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) is able to measure water temperature from the sea surface with an accuracy of 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Scientists say the Japanese satellite, nick-named “Shizuku,” will play an important role in monitoring global water circulation and climate change.

Capturing the most attention internationally, however, is the
cooperation between Japan and South Korea in space exploration.

Japan not only demonstrated its 15th consecutive successful launch of its main large-scale indigenous rocket (built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), it also collected tens of millions of dollars from a foreign customer, offering a lower bid than Russia to launch the South Korean satellite.

Japan thus achieves its long-time goal of joining the elite and
highly lucrative - but risky - commercial space launch business.

South Korea has now demonstrated it can develop and assemble state-of-the-art, lightweight, multi-use earth observation satellites.

Arirang-3 carries a high-resolution optical imager purchased from
Astrium, a subsidiary of Europe's leading space company.  From an altitude of nearly 700 kilometers, it can capture objects on the ground less than one meter in length.

Kang Kyung-in, the principal researcher at South Korea's KAIST Satellite Technology Research Center, says Arirang-3 will be able to monitor nearly any spot on Earth.

Kang says the remote sensing satellite is not intended to exclusively monitor any particular country (namely North Korea), nor is it exclusively for government use. He expects that some of the data may also be utilized by businesses amid an increasing demand for such high-resolution images.

Analysts, however, point out that, in essence, South Korea now likely has its most sophisticated indigenous device to monitor rival North Korea for military and intelligence purposes. Until now, South Korea has had to rely on its lower resolution satellites or images delivered by its ally, the United States, or other friendly countries with the best resolution space cameras.

The joint Japanese-South Korean event comes just a month after North Korea failed in its third attempt to place into orbit what it said was an earth observation satellite.

Researcher Kang says North Korea's technology is at least 20 years behind the South's and Pyongyang's motives are suspect.

Kang says the April 13th North Korean launch attempt probably was not primarily to deploy a peaceful satellite, as declared, but rather to test its rocket technology which could be utilized to launch multi-stage missiles.

Envoys from South Korea, Japan and the United States are to meet in Seoul Monday to discuss the failed North Korean launch amid concerns the reclusive and impoverished country may also be preparing an attempted third nuclear test.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid