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JAXA delays launch of third positioning satellite after system glitch

Kyodo

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has again postponed the launch of the third of its four quasi-zenith satellites due to a problem in the propulsion system of the rocket that was set to carry it into orbit.

The launch has been rescheduled for Thursday or later, JAXA said Saturday. It is the second time the space agency has been forced to postpone since last week’s launch was canceled over bad weather.

The H-IIA rocket carrying the Michibiki No. 3 satellite was scheduled to lift off from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 1:40 p.m., but the launch was scrubbed to reconfirm data in the propulsion system.

The satellite will be placed into geostationary orbit to help locate people during disasters and to support autonomous driving technology.

The government plans to use the satellites to supplement the service provided by the U.S. global positioning system. The new satellites will provide more accurate positioning and mapping services.