China’s Beidou satellite navigation system, which was started in 2000 with the goal of breaking Beijing’s dependence on the U.S. GPS, has begun providing initial positioning, navigation and timing operational services, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Dec. 27.

The current 10-satellite constellation provides service to China and surrounding areas, said Ran Chengqi, director of the management office of the China Satellite Navigation System. Six more satellites will be launched in 2012 to improve the system and expand coverage to most of the Asia-Pacific region.

Beidou is being used in transportation, marine fisheries, hydrological monitoring, weather forecasting and disaster mitigation, the report said.


READ IT AT: [Xinhua]