Thursday, June 3, 2010
China launches 4th Beidou navigational satellite
China successfully launched the 4th Beidou navigational satellite into the pre-designated orbit with the “Long March 3C” carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, symbolizing that China has made another important step forward in building the Beidou satellite navigational system.
According to introduction, the building of China’s Beidou satellite navigational system is being steadily pushed forward in accordance with the “three-step” development strategy.
The first step is basically realized. China launched 3 Beidou experimental navigation satellites from 2000 to 2003, established a sound Beidou experimental navigation system and thus became the third country possessing an independent satellite navigation system following the U.S. and Russia.
In the second step, the Beidou satellite navigational system will possess the capacity to provide position, navigation, time and short message communication service in the Asia-Pacific region by 2012. So far, China has successfully launched 3 Beidou navigational satellites and got into the stage of building a network for frequent satellite launches.
In the third step, the Beidou satellite navigational system consisting of 5 geostationary satellites and 30 non-geostationary satellites which covers the whole globe will be established around 2020.