Japan Launches Super Speed Internet Satellite

Technology could lead to fast access across Asia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 1:33 PM CST
A H-2A lifts off from its launch pad on the island of Tanagashima on Saturday February 23, 2008. Japan's space agency said Saturday it launched a communications satellite designed to enable super high-speed...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Japan today launched a satellite that, if successful, will be able to sling information across Japan and remote parts of Southeast Asia at high speeds and low cost, the AP reports. The satellite, dubbed “Kizuna,” won’t be used commercially–instead, scientists will run about 100 experiments on it, including a test HDTV broadcast. But researchers hope it will help Japan build one of the most advanced networks on the planet, Reuters reports.

The satellite, which will move data at 1.2 million gigabytes per second, was borne on the back of an H-2A rocket, a homegrown Japanese device that is among the world’s best. But critics say the H-2A is too expensive for a commercial satellite operation. From inception to launch, Kizuna has cost roughly $480 million.