China has successfully launched its third navigation satellite as part of a project to develop its own global satellite navigation system, Xinhua reported on Sunday.
The Long-March-3III rocket with the Beidou (Compass) satellite onboard was launched at 16:12 a.m. GMT on Saturday from the Xichang space center in the country's southwest. It was orbited at 2:12 GMT on Sunday.
By 2020, China plans to form a network of a total of 35 satellites, capable of providing global navigation service to users around the world.
Around 30 more satellites are expected to be orbited by 2015, of which 10 are scheduled for launch in 2009-2010.
Beidou currently provides navigation services within China and neighboring region. After completion, the project would become an equivalent of the U.S.'s Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's Glonass, and Europe's Galileo.
Beidou's launch was China's first this year.
MOSCOW, January 17 (RIA Novosti)