China launches navigation satellite

April 15th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, April 15 (Xinhua) China successfully launched its second navigation satellite Wednesday.
The carrier rocket, Long March 3C, blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

An official with the National Engineering Center of Satellite Navigation said the successful launch of the geostationary satellite was of great importance as it was the second satellite navigation system independent from foreign technology.

The system, code named “COMPASS”, is a crucial part of the country’s space infrastructure for providing navigation and positioning services in transportation, forest fire monitoring, disaster forecast, telecommunications and public security, the official said.

It was the 116th flight for the country’s Long March series of rockets.

China launched the first “Compass” navigation satellite into geostationary orbit in April 2007 to build up its own positioning system following the United States’ Global Positioning System, the Galileo Positioning System of Europe and Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System.

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