The China Satellite Navigation Office launched its 30th BDS-3 constellation satellite at 9:43 a.m. Beijing Time on June 23.
The satellite is part of China’s Beidou navigation system, a global positioning system designed to compete with American GPS.
Beidou’s completion will increase China’s military independence and its technological influence abroad, CNBC reported.
Beidou system provides messaging services that GPS doesn’t have, CGTN reported. People can send SMS-like text messages with BDS-3 satellites, which may be curial under certain circumstances like an ocean rescue. Beidou also has better performance in signal performance and network bandwidth.
The final satellite was scheduled for launch on June 16 but delayed due to technical issues with the Long March-3B launch rocket.
The test team had prepared for the launch since April. The two-and-a-half month preparation was longer than any other past Beidou launches.
The Beidou navigation system began with its first satellite launch in 2000. The network consists of 55 satellites used for navigation and messaging.
Over half of countries in the world are already using Beidou navigation system for various uses, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency, such as Thailand and Pakistan.