China launches navigation satellite

July 27th, 2011 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 27 (IANS) China Wednesday successfully launched an indigenously built global navigation satellite into orbit.

A Long March-3A carrier rocket carried the satellite, the country’s ninth navigation satellite, into space at 5.44 a.m. from a launch centre in southwestern Sichuan province, China Daily reported.

It was launched as part of China’s indigenous satellite navigation programme known as Beidou. China started its satellite navigation system in 2000 to break its dependence on the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

The country set up a regional satellite navigation system after launching three Beidou geostationary satellites.

The system played a key role in the rescue efforts after the devastating quake in May 2008 in Wenchuan county in Sichuan province. Beidou is expected to provide satellite navigation, and short message services in the Asia-Pacific region by 2012 and global services by 2020, the daily said.

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