The 28th orbital launch has already been marked by China. It has launched a new pair of navigation satellites on Thursday, named Beidou-3M15 and Beidou-3M16 from the LC3 Launch Complex of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, launched at 04:23 UTC. It is estimated to take four hours to complete the mission.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is located in south-western China and is the country’s launch site for geosynchronous orbital launches. Equipped with two launch pads namely; LC2 and LC3, the center has a dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site.
The other provisions as found on the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre are the Launch Control Centre, propellant fuelling systems, communications systems for launch command, and telephone and data communications for users. The first-ever launch happened on January 29, 1984, at 12:25UTC.
Also named as Beidou-39 and Beidou-40; the new pair of satellites are part of a fleet that will expand the system to a global navigation coverage. The satellite functions with a phased array antenna for navigation signals and a laser retroreflector that is expected to weigh 1,014 kg.
Beidou-3M17 and Beidou-3M18 will be launched in November whereas the launch of a geosynchronous navigation satellite is expected in December.
The Beidou Navigation Satellite System has been constructed and operated by China to fulfill the needs of the country’s national security along with economic and social development. Apart from the BDS service capability, related products have also been widely applied in communication, marine fishery, hydrological monitoring, and weather forecasting, surveying, mapping, and geographic information, forest fire prevention, etc.
Shared by the whole globe, Navigation satellite systems are public resources; as China prospects that BDS is developed by them in dedication to the globe. It further plans that as BDS joins hands with other navigation satellite systems, China will work with all other countries, regions and international organizations to promote global satellite navigation development and make BDS advance to serve the world and benefit mankind.
It seems that China is aiming for a bunch of launches in October. It is going to be a busy month for China aiming to a launch record year.