On December 27, China flipped the switch on its new national GPS service. Dubbed “Beidou,” the system promises best-in-class performance and will likely make the Asian economic superpower a global leader in GPS.  With the launch of its 10th satellite earlier this month,  Beidou currently provides location data only to China and its surrounding regions, but the plan is for all of Asia to be covered by 2012. Full global coverage is expected by 2020, when a total of 35 satellites are scheduled to be launched and operational.  

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Lockheed Martin is about to start ground-testing the next generation of GPS Satellites. When the new birds launch in a couple of years, they’re likely to bring much joy to millions of users who’ve become increasingly dependent on their GPS tracking devices and vehicle navigation systems.  The $5.5 billion project is poised to upgrade every aspect of the Global Positioning System, promising improved accuracy, reliability and resistance to signal-jamming.

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