China launches pair of BeiDou-3 satellites into orbit

October 15, 2018  - By

China successfully launched a pair of BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into medium Earth orbits on Oct. 15, according to GB Times.

Four hours after the launch, the two satellites were inserted into their intended orbits, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).  The satellites, numbered M15 and M16, are the 39th and 40th launched as part of China’s Beidou system, following the launch of the first in 2000.

Another pair of BeiDou satellites is expected to be launched in November, according to Richard Langley’s Upcoming Satellite Launches.

Liftoff of the Long March 3B rocket sending the Beidou-3 M15 and M15 satellites into orbit. (Photo: CALT)

Liftoff of the Long March 3B rocket sending the Beidou-3 M15 and M16 satellites into orbit. (Photo: CALT)

For the Oct. 15 launch, a Long March 3B rocket with a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China at 04:23 universal time (12:23 local, 00:23 Eastern).

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), which developed the Long March 3B rocket, reported that data logging and active tracking equipment was placed aboard for tests to determine to altitude and timing for future parachute landings for boosters.

Expended rocket boosters frequently land in or near populated areas downrange of Xichang. The trial phase of parachute booster landings is expected in 2019.



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.