A carrier rocket carrying the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 23, 2020. China launched the last BDS satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 9:43 a.m. on Tuesday (Beijing Time), marking the completion of the deployment of its own global navigation system. (Photo by Hu Xujie/Xinhua)
Washington has been stepping up its high-tech blockade against China. America's descending technological iron curtain has further underscored the importance of indigenous technological advancement in key areas, which is imperative to China's national security and development.
BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- China launched the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on Tuesday, marking the completion of the country's independently developed orbital navigation network, and a landmark step of its peaceful exploration of space.
The BeiDou network, a major infrastructure independently constructed and operated by China, can better meet the demands of the country's national security, economic as well as social development. It can also provide more stable and reliable services, as well as an alternative to the U.S.-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) for global users.
Given national security concerns due to the GPS's dominance, China is not the only one in the world that strives to develop its satellite navigation systems. For many years, the European Union, Russia and others have all been working on their own projects.
China sends two satellites of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Nov. 23, 2019. Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket and the Yuanzheng-1 (Expedition-1) upper stage attached to the carrier rocket, the two satellites have entered their planned orbits. They are the 50th and 51st satellites of the BDS satellite family. (Photo by Guo Wenbin/Xinhua)
Thus one of the BDS's prominent principles is indigenous innovation. Core technologies as well as key components and software of the BDS are independently developed and manufactured by China.
Such an independent drive in the field of scientific and technological research and development echoes the very spirit pursued by many Chinese scientists who once dedicated themselves to the "Two Bombs, One Satellite" project during the Cold War era when China was under nuclear threats by some major world powers.
In recent years, Washington has been stepping up its high-tech blockade against China. America's descending technological iron curtain has further underscored the importance of indigenous technological advancement in key areas, which is imperative to China's national security and development.
The BeiDou system also features openness and compatibility. The system provides open satellite navigation services free of charge, encourages international exchanges and cooperation, and strives to enhance compatibility and interoperability with other navigation satellite systems, so as to provide better services to users worldwide.
After 26 years of arduous work, the BDS has now earned a global reputation for its high-accuracy service and various service capabilities in positioning, navigation and timing, short message communication, and international search and rescue.
Aerial photo shows China's spacecraft tracking ship Yuanwang-3 sailing in the sea, on June 26, 2019.
Yuanwang-3, China's second-generation space tracking ship, has completed monitoring missions from the sea, including maritime tracking of the Shenzhou spacecraft, the Chang'e lunar probe and BeiDou satellites. (Xinhua/Li Yuze)
In a congratulatory video message, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: "The services provided by BeiDou are already driving social and economic development around the world."
Indeed, the BDS-based solutions have already been successfully adopted in such fields as land registration, precise agriculture, digital construction, monitoring and management on vehicles and ships, intelligent port management in regions like Asia, East Europe, and Africa.
Also, the BDS-enabled products have been exported to more than 100 countries, providing users with a variety of choices and enhanced application experience.
Thousands of years ago, the Chinese invented the compass, which had made long-range voyages on rough and vast seas possible, and helped usher in the Age of Discovery.
Today, the BDS network is primed for facilitating an even stronger global connectivity in this age of globalization, and helping countries worldwide to chart their own courses into a better future. ■