by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 17, 2010
China launched an orbiter into space early Sunday, the latest stage in the development of its own satellite navigation system, state media said.
The orbiter, launched at about 00:12 am (1612 GMT Saturday) was the third orbiter that China has launched for its Beidou Navigation System, Xinhua news agency said.
"(The orbiter) will join another two already in orbits to form a network which will eventually have a total of 35 satellites, capable of providing global navigation service to users around the world around 2020.
"According to plan, the Beidou system will provide navigation, time signal and short message services in (the) Asian and Pacific region around 2012."
The launch took place from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwestern Sichuan province.
State media have previously said Beidou will enable military and civilian users from China to find their way anywhere in the world, removing the dependence on foreign systems.
The Beidou Navigation System is seen as a rival not just of the US-developed Global Positioning System (GPS) but also the European Union's Galileo Positioning System and Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement