Japan launched the third satellite in its effort to build a homegrown GPS system

News Hour:

Japan on Saturday launched the third satellite in its effort to build a homegrown geolocation system aimed at improving the accuracy of car navigation systems and smartphone maps to mere centimeters.

An H-IIA rocket blasted off at about 2:30 pm (0530 GMT) from the Tanegashima space center in southern Japan, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), reports BSS.

The rocket successfully released the “Michibiki” No.3 satellite about 30 minutes after launch. The launch was initially scheduled for last week but was postponed due to a technical glitch.

Satellite geolocation systems, initially designed for the US military, now power countless civilian applications, from car navigation to internet browsing on mobile phones.

Japan relies on the US-operated Global Positioning System (GPS). Saturday’s launch was part of a broader plan to build a domestic version with four satellites focusing on the country and wider region. The first satellite was put into orbit in 2010 and the second was launched in June.

The fourth is to be launched by March 2018 to start up the service. The Japan-built system will still need to operate in tandem with GPS.

Though GPS is widely used in Japan, having supplementary satellites is important in a country where mountainous terrain and high buildings may interfere with its signals.

Michibiki, meaning “guidance” in Japanese, will cover the Asia-Oceania region and is intended for civilian use. Japan plans to boost the number of its satellites in orbit to seven by around 2023.

Avatar

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments

Translate this News

Join the Facebook Group

Click here to join the Facebook group of News Hour

Popular Posts

Advertisement

News of the Month

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: