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China Launches BeiDou Navigation Satellite System Satellite

By | May 20, 2019
China launching a Long March-3C rocket carrying a BeiDou Navigation Satellite System satellite. Photo: CGTN

China launching a Long March-3C rocket carrying a BeiDou Navigation Satellite System satellite. Photo: CGTN

China launched a new satellite for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 11:48 p.m. local time Friday. The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket, and is also the fourth BDS-2 backup satellite and 45th satellite of the BDS satellite family.

After being sent to Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and completing in-orbit testing, it will be connected to BDS to provide users with more reliable services and enhance the stability of the constellation. The BDS-2 system and BDS-3 system will jointly provide services before October 2020, and after that the BDS-3 system will be the main system.

China began to construct its BDS navigation system, named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, in the 1990s. It started serving China with its BDS-1 system in 2000 and started serving the Asia-Pacific region with its BDS-2 system in 2012. China will complete the BDS global network by 2020. Additionally, the launch was the 304th flight mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.