China launches navigation satellites
In a bid to build its own global positioning and navigation system, China has launched two BeiDou-3 satellites into space via a single carrier rocket.
According to the Xinhua news, the satellites were aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket which took off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the south-western province of Sichuan.
The Chief designer of the BeiDou system said, “New technology has significantly improved the performance of the BeiDou-3, with the signal accuracy in space higher than half a meter while its positioning accuracy has reached 2.5 to five meters,” adding that “Launches featuring two or more satellites on a single carrier rocket will be conducted regularly.”
The satellites are named after the Chinese term for the plough or the Big Dipper constellation and the project was initiated in 1994.
China aims to become the third country in the world after the United States and Russia to operate its own navigation system.