China launches new satellite to rival US GPS
China today successfully launched its seventh orbiter into space which would be a part of independent satellite navigation and positioning network to rival the United State's Global Position System.world Updated: Dec 18, 2010 13:37 IST
China on Saturday successfully launched its seventh orbiter into space which would be a part of independent satellite navigation and positioning network to rival the United State's Global Position System (GPS).
It was the seventh orbiter that China has launched for its independent satellite navigation and positioning network, also known as Beidou, or Compass system, state run Xinhua newsagency reported.
The arbiter was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province early on Saturday.
It is the 136th flight for the country's Long March series of rockets.
The new satellite, launched on a Long March-3A carrier rocket, joins six other satellites already in orbit to form a network, which will eventually consist of more than 30 satellites.
China started building its own satellite navigation system to end its dependence upon the US GPS system in 2000, when it sent two orbiters as a double-satellite experimental positioning system.
Beidou, as the system is called, is designed to provide navigation, time and short message services in the Asia and Pacific region before 2012 and will be capable of providing global navigation services by 2020.