China Launches 20th BeiDou Satellite with Hydrogen Clock

September 30, 2015  - By
Source: GPS world staff

The 20th BeiDou satellite is launched, Sept. 30, 2015.

China launched a new-generation BeiDou satellite into orbit at 7:13 a.m. China Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 30, according to the Xinhua News Agency, the 20th satellite for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

The satellite was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

In a first for BeiDou, the new BeiDou satellite is equipped with a hydrogen maser atomic clock. A series of tests related to the clock and a new navigation-signal system will be undertaken, according to the center as reported by Xinhua.

China plans to expand the BeiDou services to most of the countries covered in its “Belt and Road” initiative by 2018, and offer global coverage by 2020.

Named after the Chinese term for the plough or the Big Dipper constellation, the BeiDou project was formally launched in 1994. The first BeiDou satellite was launched in 2000.

Two videos of the launch are available on the CCTV website.

Video 1

Video 2

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