Japan to launch satellite for better GPS coverage

Japan on Sat will launch a rocket carrying a satellite intended to improve global positioning systems.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 16:47 PM IST

Tokyo: Japan on Saturday will launch a rocket carrying a satellite intended to improve global positioning systems.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is to launch the H-IIA at 8:17 pm (11:17 GMT) from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan.

The rocket will release the "Michibiki" satellite, whose name means "showing the way".

JAXA scientists hope the satellite will boost the accuracy and coverage of GPS, which is widely used in Japan by drivers.
Currently, radio waves from a satellite can be hampered by skyscrapers or mountains and significant errors can be also caused by reflected waves, according to JAXA.

The Japanese space agency hoped to launch three such satellites, meaning that one of them would always be above Japan, but budgetary constraints have stalled plans for the second and third satellites, local media have said.

Bureau Report