China Launches 2nd BeiDou Satellite Into Inclined GEO
China launched another BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 2:09 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket, the satellite was sent to Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO). It is the 46th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the 21st satellite of the BDS-3 system.
So far, there are already 18 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) BDS-3 satellites, one GEO BDS-3 satellite, and two Inclined Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (IGEO) BDS-3 satellites sent into space. After in-orbit tests, the new satellite will work with those BDS satellites already in orbit to improve the coverage and positioning accuracy of the system.
The new satellite and the carrier rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The launch was the 307th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.