Replacing decade-old system, Japan launches advanced GPS satellite into orbit

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Japan Published: Oct 26, 2021, 04:40 PM(IST)

QZS-1R launch Photograph:( Twitter )

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According to the official QZSS website, there are four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3, and QZS-4

Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will be replacing the country's decade-old navigation satellite.

According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center on Monday night at 10.19 pm.

The QZS-1R satellite will join other satellites that are part of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, or QZSS, which is Japan's satellite navigation system. It is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite which was launched in 2010. 

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The company Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) builds and operates H-2A rockets. "It was really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.

"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.

According to the official QZSS website, there are four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3, and QZS-4.

As per JAXA, QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan. QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites.

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It is specifically designed for mountainous and urban areas in Japan, according to JAXA.

A Mitsubishi rocket launch system has been in use since 2003. Satellites have been launched to Mars (Emirates Mars Mission) and Venus (Akatsuki) using the H-2A 202 rocket launch system.

This is the first launch of the H2-A rocket since Japan launched a relay satellite with laser communications technology into orbit on Nov. 29, 2020.

(With inputs from agencies)

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