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Japan Launches New Relay Laser Satellite with H-IIA Rocket

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. carried out the launch on Sunday.

Japan Launches New Relay Laser Satellite with H-IIA Rocket
H-IIA Launch 1, 2

Japan carried out a successful launch on Sunday that saw a new relay satellite with laser communications technology shoot up into orbit thanks to an H-IIA rocket

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. carried out the launch on Sunday in the Kagoshima prefecture at JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center at 16:25 PM local time (02:25 AM EST), reports local newspaper Nippon.com.

The company posted on Twitter once the successful launch was complete, also stating that the satellite had separated from the upper stage rocket (in Japanese).

The satellite is just starting its 10-year mission, states Space.com.

SEE ALSO: JAXA'S HTV-9 TO BURN UP ON RE-ENTRY AFTER ISS DEPARTURE

The data relay satellite will transmit high-speed data and images of Earth to a base station and is being developed by JAXA, per NHK World-Japan.

No exact orbital flight information of the satellite has been offered by JAXA, perhaps due to the sensitive nature of the data, guesses Spaceflight Now

However, as JAXA explains (in Japanese) what is known is that the satellite, known as the Laser Utilizing Communication System or LUCAS, and its mission, is that LUCAS will be placed in geostationary orbit and will use optical laser-based high-speed communication technologies to receive information from the Earth-observation satellite and then transfer that information to JAXA's base station.

The satellite will remain above Japan.

The hope is for such a satellite to "increase in data transmission capacity, and immediacy requirements," as JAXA states.

This type of fast-relay information is crucial for instances of global warming monitoring as well as disaster relief and response following natural disasters such as hurricanes.

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