China launches new BeiDou satellite
Updated 13:25, 25-Jun-2019

China sent a new satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province. 

Launched on board a Long March-3B carrier rocket, the satellite was sent to an inclined geosynchronous earth orbit. It is the 46th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the 21st satellite of the BDS-3 system. 

The design of the BDS constellation is unique, which includes satellites on a medium earth orbit (MEO), a geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and an inclined geosynchronous earth orbit (IGEO). 

So far, 18 MEO BDS-3 satellites, one GEO BDS-3 satellite, and two IGEO BDS-3 satellites have been sent into space. 

After in-orbit tests, the new satellite will work with those BDS satellites already in orbits to improve the coverage and positioning accuracy of the system. 

The new satellite and the carrier rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. 

The launch was the 307th mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency