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China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite

China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite to support its global navigation and positioning network. 
•    The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on board of Long March-3C carrier rocket. 
•    It is the 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which is being developed as an alternative to GPS (Global Positioning System) of US.  
•    It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket. 
•    23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others satellite of the system already in orbit. 
•    It will help to improve the stability of the BeiDou Navigation system to offer global coverage. 
•    BNS is 2nd generation of the Chinese navigational system seen as rival to the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS). 
•    The system comprises total 35 satellites in two separate satellite constellations (i) Limited test system (operational since 2000) (ii) A full-scale global navigation system which is currently under construction. 
•    The BNS became operational in December 2011 in China with the constellation of 10 satellites of the system. 
•    In December 2012, the system began offering services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. On its completion in 2020, the system will provide services to global customers. 
•    After completion, the navigation system would become an equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass. 
•    It will be used for Civilian services, Navigation, messaging, transportation and weather forecasting sectors, Military applications etc