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China Launched the 39th and 40th BDS Satellites

China launched the 39th and 40th 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 12:23 Beijing Time on October 15th, 2018. These two satellites will operate on a medium-Earth circle orbit. They are the fifteenth and sixteenth BDS-3 networking satellites.


After more than three hours of flight, the satellites entered the target orbit. In-orbit tests will be conducted subsequently. Along with the fourteen previously launched BDS-3 satellites, the two satellites will join the BDS constellation to provide services.   


The deployment of the BDS-3 system has stepped into intensive launch-target period since July, 2018. With the frequency of one dual-launch per month, eight BDS-3 satellites have been successfully launched in the past four months.  According to the plan, two MEO satellites and one GEO satellite will be launched later this year. A basic system will be established by the end of 2018 to provide services for countries along the belt and road. 


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 the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, respectively. This is the 287th flight of the Long March family.