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China’s Long March 3B Launches Two BeiDou Satellites

By | July 29, 2015
      Long March 3B BeiDou

      Long March 3B/Yuanzheng-1 rocket carrying two new-generation satellites for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Photo: Xhinua

      [Via Satellite 07-29-2015] On Saturday, July 25, China launched two satellites aboard a Long March 3B/Expedition 1 rocket for its indigenous Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), BeiDou. The launch occurred from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, with the satellites reaching their preset orbits in 3.5 hours, according to the center. This mission brings the number of BeiDou satellites launched to 19.

      The two satellites will join the 17th one, which was launched in late March, in the mission of testing a new type of navigation signaling and inter-satellite links, and also provide navigation services as a part of the network, according to the center.
      China launched its first BeiDou satellite in 2000, with civilian use of the system beginning in 2012. The July 25 launch was the 206th flight of China’s Long March rockets.