updated 01:00 pm EST, Tue December 27, 2011
China puts BeiDou GPS system into practice
China on Tuesday has launched its own, homegrown GPS system dubbed BeiDou, said spokesperson Ran Chengqi. Translating to Big Dipper, the system is in the trial stage but would cover most of the Asia Pacific region next year before going on to cover the world by 2020, Reuters reported. China has 10 BeiDou-devoted satellites in space now, with another six due to launch in 2012.
China revealed it will eventually have 35 satellites orbiting the Earth, meant for sectores such as fisheries, meteorology, and telecoms, among others. The country also plans to send a manned mission to the moon and build an orbiting space station.
Meantime, BeiDou is expected to let civilians find their position within 10 meters, measure speeds to within 0.2 meters per second (0.45 mph) and synchronize clocks to within 0.02 millionths of a second.