The H-2A rocket blasts off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Oct. 29. (Makoto Nagano)

TANEGASHIMA ISLAND, Kagoshima Prefecture--An H-2A rocket blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center here on Oct. 29 and sent into orbit Japan’s most accurate satellite for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.

The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 Ibuki-2 (GOSAT-2) reached its scheduled orbit about 20 minutes after the 1:08 p.m. liftoff of the H-2A Launch Vehicle No. 40.

The Ibuki-2 was jointly developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Environment Ministry and the National Institute for Environmental Studies.

The total cost of the project, including launch, is about 44 billion yen ($393 million).

“Ibuki” means “breath” or “puff” in Japanese.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane in the atmosphere absorb light of particular wavelengths. From an altitude of about 600 kilometers, the satellite will calculate concentrations of CO2 and other substances in the atmosphere by monitoring these wavelengths of the reflected light and other factors.

According to JAXA, the satellite can detect 0.5 parts per million in CO2 observations, eight times more accurate than its predecessor, the first-generation Ibuki, which was launched in 2009.

Ibuki-2 is also about seven times more accurate for calculating methane concentrations.

Takeshi Hirabayashi, project manager of JAXA’s GOSAT-2 mission, said the satellite is so accurate that it could detect a concentration change in about 200 liters of liquid, or about the volume of a bathtub, if two drops of eye lotion, or about 1 milliliter, are inserted.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, signatory nations aim to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century and limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The nations are required to report the amounts of their greenhouse gases discharged.

The information collected by the Ibuki-2 will help those countries more accurately calculate their emission data, an Environment Ministry official said.