China launches last Beidou satellite

The Chinese navigation program Beidou is worth ten billion dollars and comprises 35 satellites. The last one has now been launched into space – and could compete with the US GPS system.

China has completed its satellite-based navigation network „Beidou“. With the launch of the last satellite, the global system was completed. At the head of a Long March 3B rocket, the satellite was launched from the Xichang spaceport in southwest China and reached earth orbit.

The Beidou-3, which is based on 35 satellites, competes with other navigation systems: the European Galileo, the Russian Glonass system – but especially the American GPS.

China wants to launch Mars mission in summer
With Beidou-1 and Beidou-2, China has so far only been able to achieve complete coverage in the Asia-Pacific region.

Originally, the last Beidou satellite was to be launched on 16 June. However, the launch had to be postponed due to technical problems.

China is pursuing an ambitious space program. The first unmanned Mars mission of the Chinese is to be launched this summer. Another unmanned flight to the moon is planned for the end of this year.

For the first time in the history of the Chinese space program, Chang’e is to bring back 5 rock samples from the Earth satellite. Next year the core module and other parts for the construction of the planned Chinese space station are to be launched into space.