Japan launches satellite for high-precision positioning system

A rocket launched Thursday from southern Japan is carrying a satellite that will form part of a Japanese GPS. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to launch two more satellites by next spring to complete the system.

By: AP | Tokyo | Published:June 1, 2017 12:38 pm
Japan satellite, Japan satellite launch, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan GPS A H-IIA rocket, carrying a Michibiki 2 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 June 1, 2017.  (Source: Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Japan is building its own GPS in hopes of reducing location errors for drivers, drone operators and other users. A rocket launched Thursday from southern Japan is carrying a satellite that will form part of a Japanese GPS.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan to launch two more satellites by next spring to complete the system. Japan currently relies on an American GPS. Having its own system is expected to reduce location errors in Japan to a few centimeters (inches) from as much as 10 meters (30 feet) by some estimates.

The more accurate information could be used for both driving and drone deliveries. Japanese media report it also may enhance the country’s defense capabilities.

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