Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:2PM
A H-IIA rocket, carrying a government's information gathering radar satellite, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the Japanese southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan, on March 17, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
A H-IIA rocket, carrying a government's information gathering radar satellite, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the Japanese southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan, on March 17, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Japan has successfully launched a rocket, sending an Intelligence Gathering Satellite (IGS) into space.

The rocket blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, carrying an IGS-Radar 5 satellite. The spacecraft was reportedly deployed from the rocket’s upper stage in less than 20 minutes, making it a flawless launch.

The satellite has cost over 300 million dollars to develop and roughly another hundred to launch. It will be placed in orbit to replace Radar 3, which has passed its designated lifespan.

Details of the project’s function have not been officially disclosed, but there are speculations of it being a reconnaissance satellite for the government.