Space is starting to get crowded. Japan’s space agency last week launched Michibiki – or “Pointing the Way” – the first in a new constellation of navigation satellites. It is the start of a new space race, which could improve daily life on Earth.

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Space is starting to get crowded. Japan’s space agency last week launched Michibiki – or “Pointing the Way” – the first in a new constellation of navigation satellites. It is the start of a new space race, which could improve daily life on Earth.

Most people who use GPS services – be it Sat Nav or Grindr – have a vague awareness that there’s a satellite peering down on them to pinpoint their location. But what they most probably don’t appreciate is that the eyes belong to a US military satellite: GPS is a US Air Force project dating back to the 1970s.

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