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Japan launches satellite for advanced GPS operation

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Japan on Saturday launched an H-2A rocket carrying a geo-positioning satellite into orbit after a week-long delay, the government said.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan on Saturday launched an H-2A rocket carrying a geo-positioning satellite into orbit after a week-long delay, the government said.
The 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 technical glitch.
“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.

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