On the occasion of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding the People’s Republic of China, the frontline team of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) brings good news again. China successfully launched a pair of BDS satellites by a Long March-3B launch vehicle (with an Expedition-1 upper stage) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, at 5:10 am, on Sep 23th, 2019.The pair are the 47th and 48th BDS satellites.
The pair are both Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, which belong to the BDS-3 constellation, which is being built at the moment. The satellites successfully entered their designated orbits after more than 3 hours of the flight, and will join the constellation after completing the in-orbit test.
Presently, the completion of the BDS global constellation development has begun to count down. Together with other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), BDS will provide positioning, navigation and timing services with higher accuracy, more stable operation, and more reliable functions for the whole world; become a significant space infrastructure of public services; and make “China’s contribution” to the construction of a community of human destiny.
It is reported that the original launch window of the mission was not suitable due to the weather condition. In order not to affect the whole process of the constellation plan, the BDS engineering headquarters quickly adjusted schedule plan, changed states, and decided to conduct the launch ahead of the schedule. All the staff devoted themselves to intensive work with full enthusiasm, and worked overtime day and night. Staffs in launching site system, launch vehicle and satellite system precisely organized and commanded, controlled quality strictly and deployed forces scientifically. Telemetry and control sites in deserts, remote islands, ocean and space relayed to perform. With the spirit of great solidarity and cooperation, the BDS team members achieved “double completeness” on process and result of the mission in an decisive and confident manner, and express the most special and sincere wishes to the motherland with a great success.
The satellites and the launch vehicle (with an Expedition-1upper stage) for this mission were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology respectively, both are affiliated to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Co., Ltd. The launch was the 312nd mission of the Long March rocket series.