Press Release

Aerojet Propulsion Raises Japan’s First Quasi-Zenith Satellite MICHIBIKI

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2010
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Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, congratulates Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the successful launch of the MICHIBIKI satellite aboard the H-2A launch vehicle out of the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

MICHIBIKI, which means “guiding light” or “showing the way,” is the first satellite of a system called Quasi-Zenith. Quasi-Zenith will provide services similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System but will be centered over Japan, making it possible to provide high-accuracy satellite positioning service in previously inaccessible areas.

Through the development and deployment of this system, the aim is to provide satellite-positioning technology that will aid in building a safe and secure society with enhanced satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing technologies.

Aerojet provided MICHIBIKI with a 100 lbf bipropellant engine that will be used to raise the satellite into its correct orbital position. The unique orbit configuration will essentially draw figure eights over Japan, allowing the satellite to position itself directly over the top of the country and provide information within the urban canyons and mountains.

“MICHIBIKI will provide Japan with a significantly enhanced capability,” said Aerojet Manager of Bipropellant Propulsion Steve Harper. “Aerojet is proud to provide orbit insertion for the Quasi-Zenith program.”

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company’s excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.