Japan launches first foreign probe
A Japanese rocket has lifted off with a South Korean satellite in Japan's first commercial launch of a foreign probe into space.
The HII-A rocket lifted off from a remote south western Japan island carrying the South Korean probe and three Japanese satellites.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a private company in charge of HII-A rocket production since 2007, is hoping to compete with the US, Russia and Europe as a launch-vehicle provider.
This was its first contract to launch a foreign probe.
The Korean satellite, Kompsat-3, was developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute to monitor the environment.
The rocket also carried Japan's Shizuku satellite to monitor climate change and two smaller Japanese probes.