Japan Launches New Satellite to Improve GPS

Japan successfully launched a rocket carrying a new satellite on Tuesday 26 October, replacing an aging one launched 11 years ago to improve its global positioning system (GPS) data and telecommunications. The H-2A rocket was launched around 11.20 am local time (02:19 GMT) from the Tanegashima base in the southeast of the country, carried out by the satellite’s producer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which has participated in this type of operation since it was privatized in 2007.

The rocket, about 53 metres long and weighing around 290 tons, and the satellite separated successfully at an altitude of about 260 kilometres around half an hour after launch. The new satellite will replace Michibiki No. 1, a satellite that was launched in 2010 and has reached the end of its design life.

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