TOKYO -- Japan will launch Thursday its second satellite for a GPS system designed to bring hyper-accurate location data, moving closer to a technology that offers applications in national security, autonomous driving and other services.
The quazi-zenith Michibiki No. 2 satellite, a joint effort of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is scheduled to blast off at 9:17 a.m. local time. Launchpad preparations for the Michibiki's launch vehicle, the H-IIA, were underway Tuesday at JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. A further two Michibiki satellites are planned for launch this fiscal year, and one is already in orbit.