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Tuesday, 14th September 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan launches new GPS satellite

A new GPS satellite could help to boost coverage across the country.

According to Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), GPS users often find problems with reception due to interference from mountains or skyscrapers as well as reflected waves. It is now hoped the new orbiting satellite could solve this and increase the use of GPS across the country.

The first step in improving Japan's GPS reception involves the new Michibiki satellite which was recently launched from Japan's Tanegashima island just to the south of Kyushu.

However, the new device will only be above Japan for around eight hours per day. Original plans had included the launch of two further satellites to help provide blanket coverage but a lack of funds has halted their launch.

JAXA was formed in 2003 as a result of the merging of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan and the National Space Development Agency of Japan.

Written by Susan Ballion.