On the sidelines of the 55th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the Chinese BeiDou/COMPASS satellite model was inaugurated on 8 June 2012 in Vienna, Austria. The model is donated by the People's Republic of China. This Chinese navigation satellite model will be added to the Exhibit of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs headquarters in the Vienna International Centre. The Beidou/COMPASS satellites are part of a Chinese satellite navigation system. The first BeiDou system has been offering navigation services in China and the region since 2010. The second generation of the system, Compass/BeiDou-2, will eventually consist of 35 satellites and became operational in December 2011.
The 55th session of COPUOS started on 6 June and will continue until 15 June 12. It was created by the General Assembly to discuss international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters.