Japan’s decade-old navigation satellite, was replaced as the country has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit
According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center on Monday night at 10.19 pm.
QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite which was first launched in 2010.
The company Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) builds and operates H-2A rockets. “It was really beautiful launch,” the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.
“H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle,” the statement said.
According to the official QZSS website, there are four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3, and QZS-4.
As per JAXA, QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan. QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites.
It is specifically designed for mountainous and urban areas in Japan, according to JAXA.
A Mitsubishi rocket launch system has been in use since 2003. Satellites have been launched to Mars (Emirates Mars Mission) and Venus (Akatsuki) using the H-2A 202 rocket launch system.
This is the first launch of the H2-A rocket since Japan launched a relay satellite with laser communications technology into orbit on Nov. 29, 2020.