China launched the 37th and 38th BDS satellites into space via one single Long March-3B launch vehicle (as well as the Yuanzheng-1 upper stage) from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, at 22:07 Beijing Time on September 19th, 2018. These two satellites will operate on a medium-Earth circle orbit. They are the thirteenth and fourteenth BDS-3 networking satellites.
After more than three hours of flight, the satellites entered the target orbit. Integration testing will be conducted subsequently. The two satellites will join the BDS constellation to provide services along with the twelve previously launched BDS-3 satellites. According to the plan, a basic system consisted of 18 BDS-3 satellites will be established by the end of 2018 and provide services for countries along the belt and road.
Meanwhile, the standard COSPAS/SARSAT payloads are firstly loaded on these two satellites and will provide distress alerting and positioning services for global users.
The development of the BDS Satellites and the supporting launch vehicle (as well as the Yuanzheng-1 upper stage) launched in this mission are led by China Academy of Space Technology and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, respectively. This is the 285th flight of the Long March family.