Beijing: China sent a new satellite into space on Tuesday morning, state media reported.
Launched on a Long March 3B carrier rocket, the satellite was sent to the inclined geosynchronous earth orbit. It is the 46th satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BSD) and the 21st satellite of the BDS-3 system. It was launched into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province.
State media reported that the BDS system includes medium earth orbit (MEO), geostationary earth orbit (GEO) and inclined geosynchronous earth orbit (IGEO) satellites.
So far, there are already 18 MEO BDS-3 satellites, one GEO BDS-3 satellite, and two IGEO BDS-3 satellites sent into space.
After in-orbit tests, the new satellite will work with those BDS satellites already in orbit to improve the coverage and positioning accuracy of the system.
The new satellite and the carrier rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
China began to construct its navigation system, named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, in the 1990s and started serving the Asia-Pacific Region in 2012.
China planned to send 10 BDS satellites into space this year. The launches will help complete the BDS global network by 2020.
The system has been applied in many industries including transport, maritime affairs, electricity, civil affairs, meteorology, fishery, surveying and mapping, mining and public security.
To enable BDS to better serve the economic and social development in Belt and Road countries and regions, China has established BDS cooperation mechanisms with countries and organizations in South Asia, Central Asia, ASEAN, the Arab League and Africa, strengthening technical exchanges and personnel training, and building BDS overseas centers.