Japan Sets Launch Date for First Quasi-Zenith Satellite

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The launch of the first satellite in Japan’s Quasi-Zenith GPS augmentation system is scheduled for Aug. 2 aboard an H-2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center, rocket-builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced June 9.

A one-hour launch window opens at 10:54 p.m. Japan Standard Time. Additional windows are available daily Aug. 3 through Sept. 30.

The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System will consist of three satellites and is designed to enhance the regional accuracy of GPS-based timing and navigation services.

The first satellite, dubbed Michibiki (Japanese for “guiding” or “showing the way”), will serve as a technology validation platform before joining the other two yet-to-be-launched satellites that will comprise the operational system.