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China homegrown GPS to serve global users by 2020

Updated: Dec 9,2014 7:07 PM      Xinhua

BEIJING — The Beidou Navigation Satellite System — China’s independently developed global navigation satellite system (GNSS) — will have a constellation of 35 satellites and be ready to provide global users with geo-positioning by 2020, an insider said on Dec 9.

By 2020, China will be the third country to provide a GNSS, said Lei Fanpei, chairman of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., which is in charge of the research and development, and manufacturing of satellites and rockets for Beidou.

Beidou is the Chinese equivalent of the United States’ NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). Currently, Beidou owns 20 satellites.

In the next decade, the Beidou system will have five geostationary orbit satellites and 30 non-geostationary satellites, Lei said, adding that it will be able to provide highly precise and reliable positioning and navigation services to users.

“The system’s completion will help nurture a satellite navigation industry chain, producing economic and social benefits in diversified fields, including mapping, telecommunications and disaster relief,” Lei said.