Tokyo - An H-2A rocket carrying an Ibuki-2 greenhouse gas observation satellite reached its planned orbit after lifting off Monday from Japan's space centre.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the rocket at 1:08 pm (0408 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima island, Mitsubishi Heavy wrote on Twitter.
Ibuki-2, also called GOSAT-2 (Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite) and developed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric, will orbit the earth at an altitude of 613 kilometres to gather data on methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, JAXA said.
The satellite "will play a major role in monitoring the impact of climate change and human activities on the carbon cycle and is expected to contribute to climate science and climate change related policies," Mitsubishi Electric said in a statement.
Ibuki, the predecessor of the Ibuki-2, started observations of carbon dioxide and methane in 2009. Ibuki-2 will collect data on greenhouse gases with an even higher level of accuracy "to provide observation data to environmental organizations and contribute to international anti-global warming efforts, such as the Paris Agreement," the company added.
The satellite will also monitor air pollution by measuring levels of particulate matter, such as PM 2.5, it said.
The rocket also carried KhalifaSat, an earth observation satellite developed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in the United Arab Emirates.