China to send 7th satellite for indigenous global navigation, positioning network

19:51, December 16, 2010      

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China will launch its seventh orbiter into space in "coming days" as part of its indigenous satellite-navigation and -positioning network.

A spokesman for the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, who is not identified,said Thursday the "Beidou",or Compass, navigation satellite will be launched on a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

The satellite and rocket are now in good conditions, according to the spokesman.

The satellite is expected to join six other satellites already in orbit to form a network, which will eventually consist of 35 satellites.

China started building its own satellite navigation system to end its dependence upon the U.S. 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 in about 2010 and will be capable of providing global navigation services by 2020.

Source: Xinhua

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