China's global positioning satellite launched

07:55, August 02, 2010      

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China took a further step Sunday toward ending its dependence on U.S. satellites to provide navigation and positioning services.

A rocket carrying the fifth of a planned array of 35 orbiters blasted off from the Xichang space launch center in Sichuan, southwest China, Xinhua news agency reported.

Beijing started a drive to end its reliance on the U.S. Global Positioning System in 2000, when it sent an experimental pair of positioning satellites into orbit.

China' satellites aims to provide navigation, time and short message services in the Asia-Pacific region before 2012 and will be capable of offering global navigation by 2020.

The Chinese satellite system, codenamed "COMPASS," will be crucial for the transport and oil exploration industries as well as for weather and disaster forecasting, telecommunications and public security.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:梁军)

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