Sunday, July 26, 2015

China Launches Beidou Satellites to Compete with GPS

China is in a competition with the US’s Global Positioning System. The state media reported China is building it’s own “homegrown satellite navigational system.”
On Saturday in China, the launch center sent 2 new satellites up into space. The rocket which aided the satellites was launched from the Southwestern Sichuan province at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. These 2 satellites are number 18 and 19 to go up in space.

China is developing a domestic system for navigation like our GPS systems. Their navigational system is called Beidou or also known as Compass. Beidou is currently centered in the Asia Pacific area but is to go global by 2020. The satellite launch center says they are aiming for Beidou to be a great navigational system with coverage around the globe.

Beidou is the Chinese name for the Big Dipper constellation. In 2012 Beidou joined  GPS in U.S.A., GLONASS in Russia, and Galileo in the European’s Union. It is already in use by many Asian countries such as Thailand and Laos.

The 2 satellites will help test a new type of signaling and inter-satellite communications to aid in a new type of navigation. Civilians currently use the Beidou system for navigation, weather, transportation and messaging. Beidou also includes military applications.

In competition with GPS in the United States, the Beidou is slowly catching up to the amount of satellites launched. America has set the standard of commitment, aiming to have at least 24 working GPS satellites 95% of the time. The United Sates Air Force has been flying around 31 satellites in the past couple of years to ensure their standard.

The satellites coast around 12,550 miles up in the air. Each of the satellites will rotate around the Earth twice in one day. Back in June 2011, the Air Force successfully made a GPS constellation expanision. This configuration was known as the, “Expandable 24.”


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