Japan launches satellite for advanced GPS
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[August 19, 2017]
(Reuters) - Japan on Saturday launched an H-2A rocket carrying a
geo-positioning satellite into orbit after a week-long delay, the
A H-IIA rocket carrying Michibiki 3 satellite, one of four satellites
that will augment regional navigational systems, lifts off from the
launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of
Tanegashima, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 19, 2017.
Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
launch of Japan's third geo-positioning satellite is part of its
plan to build a version of the U.S. global positioning system
(GPS) to offer location information used for autopiloting and
possible national security purposes.
The government postponed the launch a week ago because of a
"With the success of the third satellite, we have made another
step closer for having signals from four satellites in the
future," Masaji Matsuyama, minister in charge of space policy,
said in a statement.
The government plans to launch a fourth satellite by the end of
the year to start offering highly precise position information
by next April.
Japan plans to boost the number of its geo-positioning
satellites to seven by 2023, making its system independently
operational even if the U.S. GPS becomes unavailable for some
reason, a government official said previously.
The satellite was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp and
was blasted into orbit by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by
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