12:54 GMT16 January 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China on Monday successfully launched into the orbit the 47th and 48th satellites of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CASC) said.

    The launch was carried out at 05:10 a.m. local time (21:10 GMT Sunday) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern Sichuan province. CASC noted that once the satellites reached the orbit and passed necessary tests, they would become part of the navigation system and would be responsible for improving its accuracy.

    The 46th satellite of the navigation system was launched in June.

    China successfully completed the creation of basic navigation network of the BeiDou-3 system in November 2018. BeiDou-2 and BeiDou-3 systems are planned to coexist until October 2020. Then, BeiDou-3 navigation satellites will replace the elder system.

    The BeiDou system is designed as a rival to GPS in the United States, Glonass in Russia and Galileo in the European Union. Beijing plans that the system will offer its services worldwide by 2020.


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