The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency said Sunday it will launch a rocket carrying a spy satellite from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 1:35 p.m. Monday.

The 10th Japanese-made H-2A rocket carrying an optical satellite, one of a second pair of spy satellites purportedly designed to monitor North Korea, was to lift off on Sunday afternoon, but the launch was postponed due to bad weather around the space center.

The weather is expected to improve by the rescheduled launch time though cloudy weather with a chance of rain has been forecast for Monday, the agency said, adding that if lightning is observed a further delay will be likely.

After the successful launch of a first pair of satellites in March 2003, Japan lost a second pair in a failed launch of an H-2A rocket that November.

The new pair of satellites are designed to work with the first set to allow any point on Earth to be monitored once a day.

Japan decided to launch intelligence-gathering satellites after North Korea launched a Taepodong-1 ballistic missile in 1998, part of which flew over the Japanese archipelago before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

On July 5, North Korea test-fired seven ballistic missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2.

See related links:
Japan readies launch of third spy satellite from Kagoshima

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.