Photos: H-IIA Blasts Off Ocean-Side Launch Pad with Climate Observatory & Technology Satellite

Japan’s H-IIA rocket thundered off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 1:26:22 UTC on December 23, 2017 with the GCOM-C climate observatory and the SLATS Super-Low Altitude Test Satellite. Flying for the sixth time in 2017, H-IIA successfully dispatched the two-metric-ton GCOM-C into an 800-Kilometer orbit 16 minutes after launch before demonstrating its new multi-orbit capability to spiral down into a lower orbit before the 400-Kilogram SLATS satellite was deployed.

>>Read our Launch Recap

All Photos: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency