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China plans own satellite navigation system by 2015: state media
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 19, 2009

China plans to complete its own satellite navigation system by 2015, making it independent of foreign technology such as the US-developed Global Positioning System (GPS), state media said Monday.

The Beidou Navigation System will enable military and civilian users from China to find their way anywhere in the world, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing a senior space technology official.

"The system will shake off the dependence on foreign systems," said Zhang Xiaojin, director of astronautics at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

To this end, China aims to launch 30 more satellites into space by the middle of the next decade, on top of five satellites already in orbit, according to the agency. Ten satellites will be launched in 2009 and 2010, it said.

The five-satellite system in place so far only provides regional navigation services within China's own territory, Xinhua said.

The Beidou Navigation System is seen as a rival not just of the GPS, but also the European Union's Galileo Positioning System and Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).


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