Tokyo, October 26: Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite. The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement. The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010.

"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.   The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, reported. The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA. It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.  Jupiter Hit by Another Space Rock in Rare Views Captured by Skywatchers in Japan.

Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission). The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 26, 2021 06:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website