Japan on Friday launched an H2A rocket carrying its Ibuki satellite on a mission to monitor greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Ibuki satellite is to observe for five years the concentration of carbon dioxide and methane, which cause global warming, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, which makes the H2A rocket.
The development cost for the greenhouse-gas monitoring satellite was $206 million, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The satellite is to measure levels of greenhouse gases at 56,000 locations around the globe.
The launch took place at the Tanegashima Space Centre in the southern province of Kagoshima and included seven smaller satellites that were developed by universities, private businesses, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The other satellites will be used to study communications functions.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries hopes to boost its space business if this mission succeeds, the Jiji Press reported.