Bei­dou po­si­tioned to pro­vide global cov­er­age

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

China con­tin­ues to build and im­prove the do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem.

It is one of the na­tion’s largest space pro­grams and the fourth space-based nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem in the world, fol­low­ing GPS in the United States, GLONASS in Rus­sia and the Euro­pean Union’s Galileo sys­tem.

In De­cem­ber 2012, the sys­tem be­gan pro­vid­ing po­si­tion­ing, nav­i­ga­tion, tim­ing and mes­sag­ing ser­vices to civil­ian users in China and parts of the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion.

On Feb 12, the fifth and sixth third-gen­er­a­tion Bei­dou satel­lites were sent into space atop a Long March 3B car­rier rocket from the Xichang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Sichuan prov­ince. They will op­er­ate for at least 12 years in space, ac­cord­ing to the China Satel­lite Nav­i­ga­tion Of­fice.

Since 2000, when the first Bei­dou satel­lite was placed in or­bit, 33 satel­lites have been launched for the net­work. China plans to place 18 third-gen­er­a­tion Bei­dou satel­lites in space be­fore the end of the year. They will work with ear­lier-gen­er­a­tion mod­els to pro­vide ser­vices for all the na­tions in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

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