China sends 2 more BDS satellites into space

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/23 13:33:39

China successfully launched the 47th and 48th satellites of the homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or BDS, into designated orbit on Monday, marking a step forward in forming a complete global navigation satellite system (GNSS), Chinese authorities told the Global Times on Monday. 

The two satellites, both of the BDS-3 system, are the first Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites launched this year, via a single launch mission carried out by a Long March-3B carrier rocket at 5:10 am at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to a statement released by the China Satellite Navigation Office.

After more than three hours of flight, the two MEO satellites successfully entered orbit, undergoing further in-orbit tests before they enter active network service, said the statement.

The launch mission came after the office announced on Thursday that having completed in-orbit tests, the 44th BDS satellite had officially joined the service. 

The statement also revealed that the Monday launch mission took place before its planned liftoff due to weather conditions.

Currently, China's BDS is one of the four space-based GNSSs in the world, along with US's GPS, Russia's GLONASS, and the European Union's Galileo. The BDS system started to provide global service at the end of 2018, as the construction of the BDS-3 primary system had been completed by then. 

System insiders hailed the Monday development as a step forward in building a complete global system from the current primary system.

Currently, 41 BDS satellites are in active service. 

Carrying two BDS satellites, a Long March-3B lauch vehicle blasts off on early Monday morning. Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Wenjun

China aims to raise its global competitiveness in the transport sector by setting up transport networks with wider coverage and higher speeds, according to an official document.

The country will establish a comprehensive modern transport system by 2035, according to the document jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

The BDS system has been playing a crucial role in the process, insiders said.

For example, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway is the country's first high speed railway that adopts the BDS, as the system is tasked with providing a full package of smart services for the railway's construction, operation and maintenance as well as emergency response.

By April 2019, more than 6.2 million vehicles in China and 80,000 buses in 36 cities in China had adopted the BDS, forming the biggest dynamic vehicle monitoring system in the world. 

BDS applications are also being used in 3,200 river navigation facilities and 2,900 sea navigation facilities. 

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus