At 9:43 on June 23, 2020, with the successful launch of the Long March 3B carrier rocket, the Beidou satellite global navigation system was completed. It is reported that the last satellite of Beidou-3 was originally scheduled for launch on June 16, but the launch was delayed because of technical problems.
Beidou-3 is composed of 30 satellites, and its application ranges from high-precision positioning to short message communication. Before this latest launch, the Beidou-3 network had 29 operating satellites.
The satellites of the Beidou-3 system have "higher bandwidth, enhanced communication capabilities and carry more accurate atomic clocks. Compared with the predecessor of Beidou-2, the atomic clock will improve the accuracy of timing and navigation services. According to reports, the core Beidou-3 The system started operation in 2018, but this latest launch will improve the signal strength and coverage of users worldwide.
Navigation satellites like Beidou-3 work by sending a signal that can be received by the receivers of smartphones and other GPS devices. The satellite signal includes the time when the information was sent and the satellite's orbital position. Navigation can come into play when users receive accurate information from at least four satellites.
When China's Beidou-3 network was completed, the United States was working to modernize its satellite global positioning system (GPS). The ongoing coronavirus pandemic postponed the next GPS III satellite launch from the planned launch in April to June 30. The GPS III network upgrade in the United States is an improvement to its predecessor GPS II and will be completed by 2023.
The other two global navigation systems are also competing with China’s Beidou system. Russia owns the Glonass-M navigation satellite. The most recent one was launched in March. It serves Russia’s land, sea, and air military services.
The European Space Agency said that the Galileo system in Europe began operations in 2016 and is expected to launch the last satellite by the end of 2020.