Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites sent into orbit by single rocket

Twin BeiDou-3 navigation satellites sent into orbit
China sent two satellites into orbit on a single carrier rocket for its domestic BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on Monday.

The twin satellites, which form a network with four previously launched BeiDou-3 satellites, were the fifth and sixth satellites in the BeiDou-3 family. They entered orbit more than three hours after the launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

All of the BeiDou satellites were launched from Xichang and all of the missions were successful, said Dong Chongqing, Party secretary of the launch center.

Set up in 1970, Xichang Satellite Launch Center's major task is to launch geostationary satellites. It has launched more satellites than other centers in China.

The twin satellites were carried by the Yuanzheng-1 upper-stage on the rocket. Yuanzheng-1, or Expedition-1, is an independent aircraft installed on the carrier rocket with the ability of sending one or more satellites into different orbits in space.

The launch was the 267th mission for the Long March rocket family.

China will send 18 BeiDou-3 satellites around the end of 2018 with Long March-3A rockets, according to the country's schedule.

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