Space Race Heats up as China Launches 5th Navigation Satellite
China has launched the fifth satellite in its "Compass" global satellite positioning system Saturday the government-controlled media announced. The official Xinhua news agency reported that the "Beidou" satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan province at 4:11 am, and entered its planned orbit.
The Chinese global positioning system is supposed to be operational over China and Asia by 2008. While the Chinese have stated they plan to expand the system to a truly global system, no timetable has been given.
At one time, it appeared Europe would be the main challenge to U.S. dominance in the global positioning field. Now however, it appears that both China and Russia may be first to boast of a rival system.