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China's BeiDou-2 ('COMPASS') Navigation System Nearly Ready

Article by: maft
Date: 12 Apr 2011

China has had it's own set of navigation satellites, BeiDou, since 2000. However, it consists of 3 satellites and only covers China and some nearby areas.

On Sunday the Chinese Government launched the 8 satellite (although it is the 6th functioning one) to their BeiDou-2 ('COMPASS') navigation system. By 2012 China aims to have it's own functioning system of 10 navigation satellites covering China and the surrounding region but by 2020 it will have global coverage from 35 satellites.

It is interesting to note that China was a part of the Galileo project from 2003 but, in 2008, decided to compete against Galileo instead.

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