A Japanese rocket carrying the United Arab Emirates’ first locally made satellite has lifted off from a space center in southern Japan.
The KhalifaSat Earth observation satellite was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency from its Tanegashima Space Center.
The H-2A rocket also is carrying an Ibuki-2 greenhouse gas observation satellite for Japan.
The launch is part of the Gulf nation’s ambition under its fledging space program.
The country aims to send its first two astronauts to the International Space Station in 2019. The UAE also aims to send a probe on its way to Mars in 2020 and to build a science city there by 2117.
Japan also aims to expand its commercial satellite launch services by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and make them globally competitive.