Japan launches third GPS satellite

The development assumes significance with it having national security implications, especially with North Korea in its neighborhood.

The Japanese government has disclosed that it launched a Japan on Saturday launched an H-2A rocket carrying a geo-positioning satellite into orbit following a week-long delay.

The development assumes significance being Japan’s third geo-positioning satellite, which will be part of its global positioning system (GPS) which will offer pint point accuracy for autopiloting applications and national security purposes.

“With the success of the third satellite, we have made another step closer for having signals from four satellites in the future,” said Masaji Matsuyama, Japan’s minister of space policy, in a statement.

Japan is expected to launch a fourth satellite by the end of this year and will then start offering precise position information by April 2018.

With these launches, Japan aims at boosting its GPS satellites to seven by 2023, thus providing an alternative independent solution for GPS services from their U.S. counterpart, said a government official.

The satellite was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp and was blasted into orbit by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

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