Space: May 30, 2003


China launched a third navigation satellite on May 25th. The Beidou satellite was launched on a Long March 3-A rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launching Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. This was the 28th consecutive successful launch since October 1996. In 2000, the first two Beidou satellites were launched. The full system will consist of four geosynchronous satellites, two operational and two backups. The Beidou satellites act like GPS, providing location for troops or weapons equipped with signal receivers. This will enable China to build smart bombs and cruise missiles that will not be dependent on GPS satellites, which are controlled by the United States. 


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