They warned that any more delays in the MTSAT launch would affect data collection in weather forecasting as the Himawari 5 is Japan's only weather satellite.
However, as NOAA is not a static satellite like the Himawari 5 or the MTSAT, it cannot observe Japan around the clock, making a decline in the precision of weather observation inevitable.
Once the satellites enter orbit, MTSAT
will be used for air traffic control and weather observation and Asto-F for probing the Milky Way and astronomical phenomena.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the organization in charge of the project, plans to launch three H-2A rockets carrying the second MTSAT
and other information-gathering satellites by the end of March next year.
The H-2A also is scheduled to launch an information-gathering satellite and the Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSat
), which is to take over the functions of the meteorological satellite Himawari 5.
The agency said the decision is aimed at prolonging the life of the satellite, which was scheduled for decommissioning in March last year but which remains in operation because of the failure of the 1999 attempt to launch its successor, the Multi-functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT).
The new MTSAT is now scheduled to be launched in February 2003.
The spatial resolutions of these bands are approximately 4 times improved over their counterparts on JMA's heritage Multifunctional Transport Satellites (MTSAT
) series imagers.
The Space Activities Commission of the Prime Minister's Office gave the green light for the launch of the substitute Multi-functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) some time between April 2002 and March the following year, commission members said.
The MTSAT was intended to replace the "Himawari" weather satellite, whose durability limit of five years expired in March, and also to be used for flight control.
Meanwhile, the commission, which falls under the control of the Prime Minister's Office, has decided to schedule the launch of a multifunctional transport satellite (MTSAT) for Aug.
The MTSAT, an advanced geostationary satellite, features air traffic management and weather forecasting functions.