- 04. April 2018 - Beidou
The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a Chinese satellite navigation system.
In 2015, China started the build-up of the third generation BeiDou system (BeiDou-3) in the global coverage constellation. The first BDS-3 satellite was launched on 30 March 2015. As of January 2018, nine BeiDou-3 satellites have been launched. BeiDou-3 will eventually consist of 35 satellites and is expected to provide global services upon completion in 2020.
China launched two more Beidou-3 satellites March 30, the seventh and eighth of the third phase of the Beidou system.
Launch via Long March 3B rocket took place at 01:56 Beijing time Friday (17:56 UTC Thursday) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, reports gbtimes.com.
The satellites join six others orbiting at 21,000 kilometers above the Earth. BeiDou-3 is designed to expand Beidou navigation, positioning and timing services from regional to global coverage by 2020.
The satellites were inserted into medium Earth orbits by a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage more than three hours after launch, with CASC, China’s main aerospace contractor, then confirming success.
The satellites were developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), while the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) under CASC provided the Long March 3B launch vehicle.