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China activates satellite navigation system
Posted: Wed, Dec 28, 2011, 6:51 AM ET (1151 GMT)
China turned on this week the first phase of its own satellite navigation system that will eventually compete with GPS and other such systems. The Beidou, or Compass, system started providing navigation services Tuesday for users in China and "surrounding areas", although elements of the system have been in orbit for a decade. Ten satellites are currently in orbit, with six more slated for launch in the next year, when the system is expanded to serve the broader Asia-Pacific region. China plans to make Beidou a fully global navigation system by 2020, allowing it to compete with the existing America GPS and Russia GLONASS systems as well as Europe's under-development Galileo system.
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