Controllers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are edging the first of at least three advanced navigation spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit after its launch Sept. 11. Nicknamed Michibiki, which means “showing the way” in Japanese, the spacecraft will augment GPS signals in a quasi-zenith constellation able to provide coverage in Japan’s mountains and the “urban canyons” of Tokyo and other cities. A third apogee-engine firing went off as planned Sept. 14, and the ...


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