US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — On Tuesday, China launched the last satellite as part of the Beidou mission, which will allow China to compete with the US Global Positioning System and reach a new level as a major space power.
The launch of the satellite aboard the Long March-3 rocket was broadcast live from the Sichang satellite launch base in the depths of the mountains in southwestern China shortly before 10 a.m. After about half an hour, the satellite was put into orbit and revealed solar panels that provided it with energy.
The initial launch, scheduled for last week, was canceled after inspections revealed technical problems.
The third iteration of the Beidou navigation satellite system promises to provide global coverage for synchronization and navigation, offering an alternative to the Russian GLONASS system and the European Galileo system, as well as the American GPS system.
“The launch of the 55th satellite as part of the Beidou mission shows that China’s desire to provide global satellite coverage has been completely successful,” said Yang Changfeng, chief designer of the system, to CCTV. “In fact, it also means that we are turning into one of the main countries that have mastered outer space.”
China’s space program has developed rapidly over the past two decades, as the government devotes major resources to developing independent high-tech capabilities and even dominates areas such as 5G data processing.
The first version of Beidou (which translates as Ursa Major) was decommissioned in 2012. Plans for the future include the creation of a smarter, more affordable and more integrated system with the Beidou core, which should be launched by 2035.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, there is currently a completed operational system known as BDS-3, which consists of 30 satellites and began providing navigation services in 2018 to countries participating in China’s growing infrastructure. The system relies heavily on satellites with medium Earth orbit, but also uses six geosynchronous satellites, such as the satellite launched on Tuesday.
“In addition to being a navigation tool, the system offers“ short message exchange, satellite expansion, international search and rescue systems, as well as accurate positioning.”
The short message system allows you to transmit up to 1200 Chinese characters, as well as transmit images.
While China claims to be collaborating with other satellite navigation systems, Beidou may ultimately compete with GPS and other similar systems.
In 2003, China became the third country to independently launch a space mission with a crew, build an experimental space station and send a couple of robots to the surface of the moon.
In the future, China plans to create a full-fledged permanent space station and ensure a possible flight of the crew to the moon. The first attempt to send the orbiter and the rover to Mars, the PRC plans to implement as early as next month. If successful, it will be the only country other than the United States to land on Earth’s closest planetary neighbor.
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