China launches two next-gen GPS satellites

China successfully launched the 18th and 19th satellites of its next generation of global positioning technology, state media reported on Sunday.

The Long March rocket launched from the south-western province of Sichuan to put into orbit the latest of the Beidou-2 network of satellites, Xinhua news agency reported.

The launch took this year’s number to three for the expanding network that first went operational in 2012, Xinhua said.

The first generation of Beidou, or Compass, satellites was established during 2000-03 to reduce China’s dependency on US geostationary satellites for navigation and communication.

That system could not meet demand and was replaced by Beidou-2.

Saturday’s launch was the 206th flight for China’s Long March rockets, Xinhua said.

Source: News24

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China launches two next-gen GPS satellites