China has successfully launched a Beidou navigation satellite into orbit this Monday using a Long March 3B rocket. As per the prime contractor of Long 3B, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the rocket lifted from Xichang space center by 12.43 pm EST this Monday.
The third generation of Beidou satellite that was launched on Monday will be joining the space-based navigation networks of China, making Beidou fleet to move closer to the task of providing continuous coverage globally which is a milestone that they are expecting to achieve by next year. The Long March 3B rocket is 184 foot in height and was launched from Xichang towards its east. The four strap-on boosters which were hydrazine fuelled were released 2.5 minutes after its lift off then the first-stage moments were shed later on. This was followed by the firing of hydrazine-fueled second stage further followed by the staging and the ignition of the third stage which was cryogenic hydrogen-fueled.
The military tracking data of the US said that the Beiduo payload was deployed into a transfer elliptical orbit with an altitude ranging from 104 miles to 22,262 miles. The transfer orbit was inclined at 28.5 degrees to equator. The propulsion system of the Beiduo satellite will be used for maneuvering into geosynchronous circular orbit about 22,000 miles above the Earth. The spacecrafts will be then steered to higher inclined orbits of 55 degrees tilt. The satellite that was launched on Monday was the 49th spacecraft launched since the year 2000 and is the 24th third-generation satellite launched so far.
Beiduo system began to provide service over Asia-Pacific in the year 2012. China said that the network would be ready for global coverage by the year 2020. The Xinhua news agency said that six more satellites will be launched by the country for completing the global network. The next Beiduo satellites will be launched on a Long March 3B late this month and will be heading to medium earth orbits.