News & Press: Space

BeiDou satellite launch

22 May 2019   (0 Comments)
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A Long March 3C rocket launched the spacecraft from the Xichang Spaceport at 1548 UTC on 17 May.

The satellite was successfully placed into an elliptical transfer orbit with a perigee of ~22,000 miles (~35,000 km) above Earth. The spacecraft’s on-board engine will circularise the orbit over a few weeks to achieve a geostationary equatorial orbit (GEO).

This was the 45th BeiDou satellite launched since 2000 and the second launched so far this year. Not all remain operational. China has stated that 8-10 Beidou satellites would be launched in 2019.

The complete system will comprise 35 operational satellites:
- 27 in medium earth orbit (MEO)
- 5 in GEO
- 3 in inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO)

Full Operational Capability (FOC), providing global coverage with compatibility with GPS and Galileo, is scheduled for early 2020. Claimed positioning accuracy is ‘2.5 metres’.

Details from Xinhua