H-IIA 202 | IGS Optical 7

February 9, 2020 01:34:00 UTC

Tanegashima, Japan

IGS Optical 7
for Government/Top Secret
Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) is a Japanese governmental spy satellite program. IGS Optical 7, as the name suggests, is an optical reconnaissance satellite. Japan began development of IGS in the late 1990s, following North Korea’s attempted satellite launch in 1998. Although the North Korean launch failed to reach orbit, the rocket carrying it crossed Japan during its ascent, sparking fears that North Korean missiles would be able to target the islands. With IGS, Japan aimed to develop an independent reconnaissance capability to monitor future threats. The constellation can also be used for disaster monitoring and other civilian applications by the Japanese government.