Strong enough to survive being launched into space, durable enough to operate in an inhospitable environment, powerful enough to photograph a small rock from thousands of kilometers away. BeiDou navigation satellite system is a modern Chinese marvel that’s all set to go global.
Humans have long asked the question : where are am I ?.
Navigation systems became an integral part of our lives long ago, whether they’re making modern logistics and commercial aviation possible, given us the power to locate any place on earth using only our mobile phones, or simply helping us to find the nearest Starbucks. But of course, satellite navigation systems weren’t just invented to get you to your next cappuccino a little faster.
It isn’t lonely in space anymore, the first GPS satellite was launched in 1978 and along with the Russian GLONASS was one of the two major satellite navigation systems for multiple decades. the China owned BeiDou system plans to expand its regional beta to go global by 2020. While Europe’s Galileo just went online and will reach completion that same year.
Tens of thousands of boats have been equipped with BeiDou enabled gadgets that can help fishermen contact their families via short messages, when telecom signals are weak. When China launched its first man-made satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 in 1970. Sanjaya dongSun Jiadong was the chief designer on the satellite project. He has long served as a leader on Chinese satellite projects, and was first chief designer for the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Today, there are more than 20 BeiDou satellites above our heads ready to give you your exact location, wherever that may be. Reality seems more like science fiction today, but this is no illusion. It’s all part of the Chinese dream so keep watching the skies.