Japan: Japan has launched the second Advanced Land Observation Satellite, Daichi-2 – better known as ALOS-2 on an H-IIA rocket. Liftoff took place from Tanegashima Space Centre on 24 May.
Daichi-2 (ALOS-2) is a radar imaging spacecraft which will be operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It will be used for land and resource studies, disaster monitoring and environmental research.
The ALOS-2 mission follows on from the original ALOS, which was launched in 2006 and operated for five years until mid-May 2011. Unlike its predecessor, which carried both optical and radar imagery payloads, Daichi-2 will be used only for radar imaging.