It's not only the space guys but the program created an entire generation of geomatics experts and then to consider the whole ecosystem of GIS technologies and the software/algorithmic backdrop behind all that too.The Beidou system is a truly epic and monumental accomplishment for China.
Salute to those scientists and engineers who have devoted their lives working tirelessly and resolutely under highly unfavorable conditions.
Building something that sophisticated and complex like the Beidou from scratch under western embargo of technologies takes guts, sheer determination, sweats and tears. And they did it !!
Compass or Beidou has luckily beaten Galileo to win the frequency. It was a surprise to me the Europeans were relatively slow with the Galileo program (multinational problems) because that frequency granted certain advantages. Beidou is also the only GNS system that offers two way communication with ground based signals going to satellites as well for further processes and functions. GPS is aiming to create a similar system with the GPS upgrade programs.
China's space program achievements are honestly often silent background progress. Its own deep space network that actually works as opposed to some others that exist in name only but always rely on American DSN and now its own world leading GNS. I've done some work with a guy who was involved with Beidou program and the achievements and advantages over older GNS systems like GPS was made clear. This was many years ago when the Beidou constellation was less than half complete. Really impressed me.