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China Launches its Own GPS

There are currently 33 BeiDou satellites in orbit, but only six are active. The system will need 24 active satellites for a global coverage. The Chinese government said that it plans to have 5 geostationary orbit satellites and 30 non-geostationary orbit satellites operational by 2020, including performance enhancing devices.

According to Chinese officials, BeiDou has been developed to "maintain independence and keep the initiative in [China's] hands, keep open, compatible, stable and reliable on technology, offer global service, thereby accelerating the foundation of navigation satellite industrial chain, consummating  the sustaining extending and guaranteeing system, expanding the range of application in the country's economic and social sector." Like GPS, BeiDou has been used by the military prior to its opening to the public.

China said that BeiDou currently provide positioning services to "most parts" of the Asia-Pacific region, "including continuous passive positioning, navigation and timing services."

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  • umm...so we can track all the communist dissidents through cell phones etc
    Reply
  • mman74
    There is no need for another competing GPS for civilian use. This is clearly for use by it's military, which requires more accurate positioning than the US are willing to release.
    Reply
  • acadia11
    Ahhh ... so Josh Whedon was right. First a carrier and now satellites?
    Reply
  • acadia11
    euanteouhtnaeuohnumm...so we can track all the communist dissidents through cell phones etc
    Clearly you are clueless about the way the world is going. You think the government sees it's own people as the issue, LOL!?! Those days are past and done buddy.
    Reply
  • mman74
    acadia11Ahhh ... so Josh Whedon was right. First a carrier and now satellites?
    Who's Josh Whedon?
    Reply
  • fearless1333
    How can you people blame/talk badly on China for coming up with a GPS competitor? Yes it's for military use mainly but it's the logical step forward. America would do the same thing in China's place.
    Reply
  • fearless1333
    How can you people blame/talk badly on China for coming up with a GPS competitor? Yes it's for military use mainly but it's the logical step forward. America would do the same thing in China's place.
    Reply
  • wdmfiber
    The Russian GLONASS system is global(as of late 2011). There is no need for a 3rd system. It's just a waste of resources and increases orbiting debris.
    Reply
  • fnh
    Sure, add the Europeans to the blame list for their Galileo GNSS too.
    Reply
  • spockv
    There would be no need for a 2nd GPS system if human being could work together instead of against each other. There is a clear reason for everyone to have one's own GPS system. More will come (N. Korea, Japan, Iran, Black, White, Yellow, Coconut, Bananas, Christian, Muslim, Gay....). Competition is good for consumers. There is no need to be scared.
    Reply