Navigation satellite system completed; next mission Mars...
Last week has been a milestone for the Chinese (and global) telecommunication landscape, artificial intelligence, and countless other digital high-tech integrations. China launched the final satellite early this week, completing the 35-satellite Beidou Navigation Satellite System. This completion will enable China to be strategically independent from US controlled GPS.
The satellite navigation system will be a major driving force for advancing 5G and AI technologies in among others smart cities (e.g. traffic or waste management); intelligent grids, logistics and infrastructure (e.g. smart ports, environment); transportation (e.g. driverless cars); precision farming; or public safety, health care and disaster management.
Beidou (Chinese for the Big Dipper constellation) has already been installed on 70% of Chinese smartphones today.
China’s satellite system comes after years of notable accomplishments in space. Last year China became the first to land a rover on the far side of the moon. Since its first manned space mission in 2003, China has launched several space station prototypes.
This month China's first Mars mission is scheduled, include deploying an orbital probe to study the red planet, and a robotic, remotely-controlled rover for surface exploration.
Sources : Nikkei, radii