China launches yet more BeiDou navigation satellites

September 20, 2018  - By
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China sends twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space on a single carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Sept. 19, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua/Liang Keyan)

China sends twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space on a single carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Sept. 19, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua/Liang Keyan)

On Sept. 19, China successfully sent twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into space on a single carrier rocket, according to state news agency Xinhuanet.

This is the third launch of twin BeiDou-3 satellites in less than eight weeks. China launched two more pairs of BeiDou navigation satellites into space on July 29 and Aug. 25.

The Long March-3B carrier rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 10:07 p.m. It was the 285th mission of the Long March rocket series.

The twin satellites are the 37th and 38th editions of the BeiDou navigation system. After a series of tests and evaluations, they will work together with 12 BeiDou-3 satellites already in orbit.

The twin satellites will provide danger alerts and navigation services for global users. A basic system with 18 orbiting BeiDou-3 satellites will be in place by the end of the year, which will serve countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The satellites and the rocket for Wednesday’s launch were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, respectively.

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Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s 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.

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