Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Japan's H2A Launches GOSAT To Track C02

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 23, 2009
Japan successfully launched the world's first satellite dedicated to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions Friday, aiming to aid the fight against global warming while boosting its own space industry.

The mission will help scientists measure the density of carbon dioxide and methane from almost the entire surface of the Earth, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

A Japanese-made H-2A rocket carrying the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) blasted off from Tanegashima, a small island in southern Japan, after a two-day delay due to bad weather.

The satellite, also called Ibuki, or "breath of fresh air", will collect data from 56,000 locations around the world, a dramatic increase from the 282 observation points available as of last October, JAXA said.

Japan hopes the mission will provide governments with useful data as they come under pressure to meet their 2008-2012 Kyoto Protocol goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

"Japan is determined to expand its space development," said Seiko Noda, minister in charge of space development.

"Ibuki is a part of Japan's unique contribution to the world and I am very optimistic about its activity of providing data on global warming," she added.

Ibuki is equipped with two sensors. One will track infrared rays from the sun that are reflected from the Earth's surface or the atmosphere, helping to calculate the density of greenhouse gases.

The other will monitor clouds and aerosols as they often lead to errors in calculation.

The satellite will fly around the earth in about 100 minutes, 660 kilometres (410 miles) above ground. It is set to be in orbit for five years and will release preliminary data nine months after the launch.

The rocket was also carrying seven mini-satellites, including several produced by universities.

Japan hopes the successful launch will boost its space industry's efforts to win satellite launch orders for its H-2A rocket in the face of tough competition from US and European companies.

Top government spokesman Takeo Kawamura said the successful launch would help the Asian giant expand into commercial activities.

Last week Japan secured its first commercial satellite contract after South Korea's space agency asked Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch the KOMPSAT-3, which will take images of the earth.

"A rocket's competitiveness does not depend only on costs but also on the success rate of its launches, which is important to build trust," said MHI's head of space systems, Takeshi Maemura.

Tokyo suffered a high-profile setback in 2003 when it was forced to destroy a rocket carrying a spy satellite after lift-off because a booster failed to separate.

Japan, like China and India, has been stepping up its space operations and is currently conducting the world's most extensive mission to the moon in decades. It hopes to send an astronaut there by 2020.

Japan is not the only country looking to step up the monitoring of greenhouse gases from space. The United States is set to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory this year to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Related Links
- Launch Pad at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Japan Resets H2A Launch To Jan 23
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jan 21, 2009
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency were scheduled to launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 15 (H-IIA F15) on January 22, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center; however, we decided to reschedule the launch date to January 23 (JST) as an excessive volume of clouds including a freezing layer are expected to cover the launch site around the launch time on the 22nd.

  • Race To Orbit Gets Underway At Cape With Ares-1-X Test Launch
  • Researchers Cooking Up New Gelled Rocket Fuels
  • Giant Rockets Could Revolutionize Astronomy
  • Battle Of The Launches All Over Again

  • Japan Launches Satellite To Track Greenhouse Gases
  • Japan Resets H2A Launch To Jan 23
  • Sea Launch Selected To Launch Intelsat 17
  • New Skies NSS-9 Satellite Arrives In Kourou For February 12 Launch

  • Shuttle Crew Complete Rehearsal And More For STS-119 Launch
  • Discovery Ready To Roll
  • Sharks Fly With Shuttle On Return Trip
  • NASA describes final moments of Columbia tragedy

  • Kogod Students Pioneer Branding Potential Of International Space Station
  • Spacehab To Support Pre-Launch Preparations For Russian Module
  • Russia Tests Phone Home To Santa Network
  • ISS Astronauts Successfully Complete Spacewalk

  • India To Set Up Air And Space Law Centre
  • Stepping-Stone To The Stars
  • Russia Wants No More ISS Tourists After 2009
  • Virgin Galactic Offers Accreditation To Nordic Travel Agents

  • China plans own satellite navigation system by 2015: state media
  • Fengyun-3A Weather Satellite Begins Weather Monitoring
  • Shenzhou-7 Monitor Satellite Finishes Mission After 100 Days In Space
  • China Launches Third Fengyun-2 Series Weather Satellite

  • AF Officials Look At Robots For Aircraft Ground Refueling
  • Japan researchers unveil robot suit for farmers
  • Will GI Roboman Replace GI Joe
  • Marshall Sponsors Four Student Teams In FIRST Robotics Competitions

  • Mars polar water is pure: study
  • Satellite Antenna Enables Discovery Of Buried Glaciers On Mars
  • ISRO Processes Propellant Booster For Mars Program
  • Dead Or Alive Mars Pumps Methane

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement