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China's BeiDou launches global service today

By Zhao Lei (    16:11, December 27, 2018

China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System will start providing global services on Thursday, as announced by the China Satellite Navigation Office at a news conference in Beijing.

Speaking on the developments of Beidou, Ran Chengqi, director of the navigation office, said the pillar system's construction of Beidou's third generation constellation has finished, enabling the space based network to provide reliable global positioning, navigation, and timing services with high accuracy.

"This marks Beidou's entry into a 'global era' from its 'regional era'," he said.

Beidou is one of the four space based navigation networks along with the United States' GPS, Russia's GLONASS and European Union's Galileo.

When the first Beidou satellite entered orbit in 2000, 47 system satellites including four experimental ones have been launched. Beidou began providing positioning, navigation, timing, and messaging services to civilian users in China and parts of the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012.

China launched 19 satellites for the network. The latest were the 18th and 19th of the Beidou-3 series in late November.

To date, there are 33 satellites — 18 in Beidou-3 series and 15 in Beidou-2 — that are operational in several orbits. These satellites offer a global positioning service with 10-meter accuracy and an Asia-Pacific regional service with 5-meter accuracy, according to Ran.

Before the end of 2020, China plans to send six Beidou-3 satellites to medium Earth orbits, three to inclined geosynchronous orbits and two to geostationary orbits. In addition, a Beidou-2 satellite will be sent to a geostationary orbit within this period.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Du Mingming, Hongyu)

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