Saturday, April 9, 2011
BEIJING: China early on Sunday morning launched its eighth orbiter which will form part of its indigenous satellite-navigation and positioning network.
A Long March-3A carrier rocket carrying the "Beidou" or Compass, navigation satellite took off at 4.47 a.m. Sunday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Xinhua reported.
It will join seven other satellites already in the orbit to form a network which will eventually consist of over 30 satellites.
The launching of the satellite marks the establishment of a basic system for the navigation and positioning network, said an unidentified spokesperson for the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.
China will launch more satellites within the coming two years to finish a regional network to provide navigation services with high precision and credibility for industries and sectors such as mapping, fishery, transportation, meteorology and telecommunication, in the Asia-Pacific regions, the spokesperson said.
The network is scheduled to be able to provide global services by 2020.