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Global Times

China sends 49th BDS satellite into space

Global Times

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2019/11/5 2:54:14

China successfully sent its 49th satellite for its domestically developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or BDS, into a planned orbit on Tuesday morning, navigation authorities told the Global Times.

Carrying the new BDS satellite, a Long March-3B carrier rocket was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The satellite will be the 3rd Inclined Geo Synchronous Orbit (IGSO) satellite for the latest BDS-3 system, marking the completion of the IGSO constellation for the system.

The first IGSO satellite was launched in April, also by the Long March-3B rocket.

Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said he was very confident that all BeiDou-3 satellites will be launched by the end of next June to complete the constellation system half a year earlier.

China's BDS is one of the four space-based GNSSs in the world, along with the US' GPS, Russia's GLONASS, and the European Union's Galileo. The BDS system started to provide global service at the end of 2018, as the construction of the BDS-3 primary system had been completed by then.

The Tuesday launch also marks the 10th consecutive successful mission this year for Long March 3A series which includes the Long March-3A, -3B and -3C.

Three more launches have been scheduled for the Long March-3A rocket family later this year, according to the statement the rocket developer, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), sent to the Global Times.

The developer team has improved the rocket type's reliability as well as the security of ground devices, Liu Lidong, a senior designer for the rocket series, told the Global Times.

An extra protection device and measures have been installed to the rocket in response to the harsh environment in flight, strengthening reliability of the data collecting system, and the team has also optimized the interior structure of the third-stage engine for the rocket, reducing the stress level of the diaphragm to extend the life of the capsule assembly and improve the product qualification rate, and make the cryogenic engine more reliable, he noted.

The Tuesday launch was the 106th launch of the Long March-3A rocket series and 317th of the Long March rocket family.

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