Japan’s space agency on Monday launched a rocket carrying a satellite that will monitor greenhouse gases, as well as the first satellite built entirely in the United Arab Emirates.
The nation’s H-IIA rocket lifted off Monday afternoon at 1:08 pm (0308 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Centre, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
About 16 minutes later, it sent a Japanese satellite nicknamed Ibuki-2 into orbit.
The satellite is officially named GOSAT-2, short for “greenhouse gases observing satellite-2”, and is intended to provide data that will help Japan create and publish “emission inventories” of the CO2 output of various countries, as outlined in the Paris climate accord.
The satellite will also make precision observations of methane and other gases.
The Japanese rocket also released “KhalifaSat”, the first satellite built entirely in the UAE by local engineers.
“The launch of KhalifaSat is an unprecedented Emirati achievement,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said in a tweet.
“Our dreams to embrace space have become a reality.”
Five other smaller satellites are scheduled to be released from the Japanese rocket.
Japan’s space agency and its private partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries see the international satellite launch market as a possible revenue stream.