When it comes to positioning systems, U.S. has GPS, Russia has Glonass and EU – Galileo. China is joining the race and has finally launched its own such system called Beidou.
According to a spokesman for the system, Beidou has started providing initial positioning, navigation and timing operational services to China and its surrounding areas. However, the coverage will expand soon with six more satellites set for launch in 2012 to cover most parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
The world’s most populous country started developing its positioning system in 2000 after deciding not to rely on Europe’s Galileo. So far, it [China] has launched 10 Beidou satellites, with the tenth being lifted into orbit earlier this month.
Beidou is reported to be compatible with all existing positioning systems…
Now call me a naive sucker, but can’t all countries agree and have a single positioning system which is governed by either UN or G8? That would make more sense, providing more accurate positioning (more satellites), while at the same time keeping costs down for all the parties involved…
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