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China successfully launches fifth orbiter into space


A file photo of a Long March 3A rocket.

BEIJING (PTI): China has successfully launched its fifth orbiter into space on Sunday, as part of its indigenous satellite navigation and positioning network.

The satellite was launched from the Long March 3I carrier rocket. It was the 126th flight for the country's Long March series of rockets.

The satellite will join another four satellites in orbit to form a network that will eventually consist of 35 satellites, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The system, code named 'COMPASS', is a crucial part of the country's space infrastructure for providing navigation and positioning services in areas like transportation, meteorology, petroleum prospecting, forest fire monitoring, disaster forecast, telecommunications and public security among others.

In a bid to end its dependence on the US' GPS system, China started building its own satellite navigation system in 2000, when it sent two orbiters into space as a double-satellite experimental positioning system.

The system is designed to provide navigation, time and short message services in the Asia and Pacific region before 2012 and will be capable of providing global navigation services by 2020.

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China  GPS  satellite  

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