Japan successfully launches first QZSS replacement, QZS-1R

October 26, 2021  - By

A successor to the first Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) satellite, QZS-1R, was launched at 11:19 a.m. Japan Standard Time, Oct. 26, from the Tanegashima Space Center.

QZS-1R was carried aboard H-IIA rocket No. 44 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The flight proceeded as planned, and, 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, the payload separated from the launch vehicle.

Designed for a 15-year lifetime, QZS-1R will replace the QZS-1 (Michibiki-1). QZS-1 launched on Sept. 11, 2010, and entered its quasi-zenith orbit 10 days later. Three other quasi-zenith navigation satellites launched in 2017 to complete the constellation.

QZSS began service in November 2018 with four satellites. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to have seven satellites aloft by 2023.

A H-2A rocket launches from Tanegashima Space Center carrying the QZS 1R satellite. (Photo: MHI)

An H-2A rocket launches from Tanegashima Space Center carrying the QZS-1R satellite. (Photo: MHI)

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.