On May 17, 2012 at 16:39 UTC the H-2A rocket-carrier was launched from Tanegashima Space Center, an island spaceport in southern Japan. The rocket orbited 4 satellites.
The "Kompsat 3”, a high-resolution imaging satellite was built in South Korea. The craft's sharp camera was provided by Astrium of Germany.
The satellite for JAXA's first Global Change Observation Mission, officially known GCOM W1, will measure moisture in Earth's atmosphere, soil and trapped in polar ice caps. The nickname of GCOM W1 is Shizuku, which is Japanese for water drop.
The H-2A rocket also orbited a small demonstration satellite named SDS 4 for the Japanese space agency and Horyu-2, a student-built experimental satellite.