Watch: China launches two satellites for navigation in belt and road project

China launches twin BeiDou navigation satellites Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 19, 2018, 11.07 AM (IST)

China sent two new satellites into the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) at 02:07 Monday by Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.

The satellites entered a medium earth orbit more than three hours later and will work with 17 other BDS-3 satellites already in space. They are the 42nd and 43rd satellites of the BDS satellite family.

"After the flight control, we will conduct ground-space tests to the system. After that, it will officially provide navigation services to countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and some regions around the world," said Xie Jun, deputy chief designer of the BDS-3 satellite project.

With the successful launch, the basic BDS constellation deployment is complete. China plans to provide navigation services with the BDS-3 to countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative by the end of this year.

"The basic system is, in fact, the whole global system. All of its service performance has been fully verified via the basic system. So the completion of the basic system means that the global system can be completed by 2020. This is the significance of the basic system," said Yang Changfeng, chief designer of the BeiDou system.

Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, the BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.

China plans to launch six other BDS-3 satellites to the medium earth orbit, three satellites to the inclined geosynchronous earth orbit and two satellites to the geostationary earth orbit from 2019 to 2020.

The system will provide first-class services around the world by the end of 2020.