A H-2A rocket launched Japan’s first Optical Data Relay Satellite with laser communications capabilities on Sunday from the Tanegashima Space Center.
The civilian-military spacecraft will relay data from Japan’s optical and radar-imaging Information Gathering Satellites as well as JAXA’s scientific spacecraft.
JAXA’s Laser Utilsing Communication System (LUCAS) will use infrared technology to transmit data between the spacecraft and the ground.
The H-2A rocket lifted off at 4:25 p.m. local time from the southern Japanese island. The spacecraft separated at an altitude of 300 km and is using on-board propulsion to reach geosynchronous orbit.