Friday, December 2, 2011

China launches 10th satellite for independent navigation system

Xinhua: China successfully launched a satellite into space at 5:07 a.m. Beijing Time Friday, the 10th one of its indigenous global navigation and positioning network known as Beidou, or Compass system, the launch center said. The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichuan Province, was boosted by a Long March-3A carrier rocket into a geosynchronous orbit.

It was also the 153rd launch of the Long March carrier rockets. The basic structure of the Beidou system has now been established, and engineers are now conducting comprehensive system test and evaluation. The system will provide test-run services of positioning, navigation and time for China and the neighboring areas before the end of this year, according to the authorities.

More satellites will be launched before the end of 2012 for the Beidou network, and its coverage area will be expanded with upgraded services. The global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with 30 satellites orbiting the earth.

Started in 2000, the Beidou satellite navigation system is designed to break China's dependence on the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS)....

A Long March-3A carrier rocket lifts off at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Dec. 2, 2011. China successfully launched into space the tenth orbiter for its independent satellite navigation and positioning network known as Beidou, or Compass System here early Friday. (Xinhua/Yan Yan

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