China adds two more satellites to BeiDou constellation

September 25, 2019  - By
Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Photo: Xinhua News Agency

China has launched two more BeiDou III satellites. The launch took place on Sunday, Sept. 22, using a Long March 3B rocket which lifted off from the Xichang space center at 2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT), according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The satellites have been confirmed as MEO23 and MEO24.

About four hours after liftoff, the upper stage delivered the Beidou satellites into a nearly circular orbit with an average altitude of 13,500 miles (21,800 kilometers) and an inclination of 55 degrees.

The satellites were produced by the China Academy of Space Technology, a government-owned satellite builder.

With Sunday’s launch, China has added five new satellites to the Beidou network this year, halfway to its stated goal of 10 Beidou satellites this year.

The satellites are the 47th and 48th spacecraft launched in the Beidou navigation program.

Feature photo: Xinhua News Agency

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.