China has successfully launched the BeiDou 2 G8 navigation satellite aboard a Long March 3C rocket.
The three-stage Long March 3C was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 15:48 UTC on May 17. Following the launch, the rocket’s upper stage successfully deployed the BeiDou 2 G8 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
A total of 48 BeiDou satellites across three generations have been launched since 2000 in China’s effort to build an alternative to the US GPS navigation system. The country hopes to bring the BeiDou Navigation Satellite system online in 2020 with a 35-satellite constellation.
Yesterday’s launch was China’s seventh of 2019 and the second to deploy a Beidou navigation satellite. The next is expected to launch the Yaogan-33 reconnaissance satellite aboard a Long March 4C from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on May 22.