China has lifted off a new orbiter into space atop a Long-March-3III carrier rocket into a geostationary orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

The orbiter is the third system of the Chinese navigation system, Beidou or COMPASS system, which will eventually have 35 satellites to provide global navigation services from 2020, according to China Daily.

The network will have five satellites in geostationary orbit and another 30 in non-geostationary orbits that is expected to provide navigation, time signal and short message services in the Asia and Pacific region around 2012.

The COMPASS system will provide both open and authorised services, where the open service will be free within the service area with a resolution of 10m for positioning, and an accuracy of ten nanoseconds for time signal and 0.2m a second for speed measurement.

The authorised service will provide more-accurate services for authorised users.

Beidou is China’s first-generation satellite navigation and positioning network that is the third such independent system in the world after the US and Russia.