Additional Japanese Positioning Satellite Launched Successfully

Science Society

Tokyo, Oct. 26 (Jiji Press)--An additional Michibiki satellite aimed at creating a Japanese version of the U.S. Global Positioning System was launched successfully Tuesday.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> launched an H-2A rocket carrying the new satellite succeeding the first Michibiki from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, at 11:19 a.m. (2:19 a.m. GMT). The new Michibiki was separated from the rocket about 28 minutes later and then entered its target orbit.

Four Michibiki satellites are currently in operation for the purpose of improving the accuracy of location information offered by car navigation systems and smartphones, which receive data from the satellites.

The satellites, operated by the Cabinet Office, travel in quasi-zenith orbits almost directly above Japan. The Michibiki system is designed to complement the GPS, helping the provision of location information with accuracy of a few centimeters. The first Michibiki, launched in 2010, has exceeded its design life.

The Japanese government seeks to complete in fiscal 2023 the seven-satellite Michibiki system, which would enable positioning around the clock even if the U.S. GPS stops functioning.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press