Japan to launch third intelligence-gathering sat

(Associated Press WorldStream via NewsEdge) Japan will launch an intelligence-gathering satellite in early September, the country's space agency has announced.

The satellite, part of a program started in 2003 on concern over secretive North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, will be launched atop the domestically developed H2-A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, the space agency JAXA said in a statement.

It would be the third intelligence-gathering satellite Japan has launched. The first two were put into orbit in March 2003. JAXA planned to launch a fourth next winter.

The program, overseen by the Cabinet, would enable Japan to survey any point in the world.

c 2006 The Associated Press

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