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China Achieves Full Global Satellite Coverage

  • Published
  • By Eric Griffin
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

On 23 June 2020, China launched the final satellite from its Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) to be part of the BeiDou-3 constellation. The liftoff took place at 09:43 local time using a Long March-3 rocket as the launch vehicle. This marks the final piece in China’s first true Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). For over 60 years, the United States has made significant breakthroughs in GNSS technologies and has enjoyed the benefits of being one of a few members of an extremely exclusive group of countries to own and operate their own GNSS. However, with the launch of the final components for the BeiDou Navigation System (BDS), China has emerged as a major player in the world of global satellite supremacy which may prove to have serious implications for the United States and its allies.