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Global Times

China successfully sent into space second to the last satellite of the BDS-3 constellation

Global Times

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/9 21:01:23

China successfully sent the 54th satellite for the country's domestically developed BeiDou Satellite Navigation System, or BDS, into designated orbit on Monday.

According to an official press release that China's space authority sent to the Global Times on Monday, the satellite launched on Monday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province via a Long March-3B carrier rocket is also the 29th member spacecraft for the latest BDS-3 system, and the second geostationary satellite for the constellation.

Such kind of satellite shall play a crucial role in terms of improving the BDS-3 satellite-based augmentation system, as well as of enhancing the quality of the Chinese system's unique short message communication services and other services such as precise point positioning.

The BDS-3 full constellation is planned to host 30 satellites, and they are 24 medium Earth satellites, three geostationary satellites and three at the inclined geosynchronous Earth orbit.

The launch mission for the BDS-3 constellation shall be completed by May when the last geostationary satellite is scheduled to be sent into space by then.

Mission insiders told the Global Times on Monday that the whole preparation stage for the Monday launch was carried out amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

And the arrival of the carrier rocket for the mission was two days late due to the change of transfer route which originally went across Central China's Hubei, the epicenter and the hardest-hit province by the epidemic, insiders said.

However, all personnel of the satellite and rocket teams and those of the launch center managed to overcome the difficulties, achieving zero error in epidemic prevention and control and the launch mission, by introducing measures including streamlined working process and video examination of the engineering quality, they said.

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