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China builds up its satellite navigation system

posted 1 Nov 2010, 04:38 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 1 Nov 2010, 04:41 ]
China launches the sixth satellite in its own satellite navigation and positioning system, and eventually plans to have 35 orbiters.

XICHANG, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA  (NOVEMBER 1, 2010)  CCTV - China launchedthe sixth satellite of a planned 35 into orbit on Monday (November 1) as it builds its own navigation and positioning system, state media 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.

The rocket carrying the satellite was launched just after midnight (1626GMT, October 31) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province.

China's 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, Xinhua said.

The system code named "COMPASS", will be crucial for the transport and oil exploration industries as well as for weather and disaster forecasting, telecommunications and public security, the news agency said.