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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.


From Belfast Telegraph