A rocket was launched from Tanegashima Space Centre early on Thursday morning as part of Japan’s efforts to construct its own global positioning system. The H-IIA 34 rocket was carrying a quasi-zenith satellite system named ‘Michibiki’, meaning ‘guidance’. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industry plan to launch two more such satellites by next spring to complete Japan’s GPS. In Japan, users currently rely on location information provided by the US GPS. Once the system is completed, many hope to get much more precise location information.

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