JAPAN'S ADVANCED Earth-observing satellite, the Adeos, and an amateur radio satellite, were successfully launched into 800km circular polar orbits by the fourth H2 booster from Tanegashima on 17 August.

The 3,500kg Adeos, has a suite of five national and two NASA instruments, and one French instrument. It is the largest craft built by Japan, measuring 4 x 4 x 7m.

The satellite is to acquire data on global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, decrease in the topical rain forests and climatic changes.

The launch is the fourth success in four flights on the H2, which had its maiden launch in 1994. The next flight, carrying the communications and broadcasting engineering-test satellite, the Comets, has been scheduled for January/ February 1997.

Source: Flight International