Long March 3B Rocket Deploys Twin Chinese BeiDou Satellites

China has successfully deployed two BeiDou navigation satellites.
A Long March 3B lifts off from the the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China | Image source: Xinhuanet

China successfully launch two BeiDou navigation satellites for the country’s twenty-first orbital mission of 2018. The twin satellites were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

The Long March 3B was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Sunday July 29 at 01:48 UTC (21:48 EDT July 28). Following the launch, representatives from the primary launch contractor confirmed the satellites had been deployed successfully and were operating nominally under their own power.

The BeiDou network is the fourth global navigation system behind Russia’s GLONASS, the US GPS system and Europe’s Galileo network. Following yesterday successful launch, the BeiDou fleet now features 34 individual satellites.

China will look to launch their twenty-second orbital mission on Tuesday July 31 at 03:00 UTC (23:00 EDT July 30) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The launch will look to deploy a Gaofen Earth observation satellite aboard a Long March 4C rocket.