Home / Space force / Long March 3C rocket launches Beidou satellite toward geostationary orbit – Spaceflight Now

Long March 3C rocket launches Beidou satellite toward geostationary orbit – Spaceflight Now

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China launched a Beidou navigation satellite tv for pc Friday utilizing a Lengthy March 3C rocket, including one other node to a rising space-based community that Chinese language officers say will broadcast positioning and timing indicators world wide subsequent yr.

The Lengthy March 3C launcher, fitted with a pair of liquid-fueled strap-on boosters, fired away from the Xichang house heart at 1548 GMT (11:48 a.m. EDT) Friday, in keeping with the China Academy of Launch Automobile Know-how, or CALT, the state-owned contractor that builds most Chinese language satellite tv for pc launchers.

The rocket arced towards the east-southeast from Xichang, an inland spaceport nestled amid mountains in southwest China’s Sichuan province. Liftoff occurred at 11:48 p.m. Beijing time.

The Lengthy March 3C’s twin hydrazine-fueled boosters shut down and jettisoned round two minutes after liftoff, following moments later by separation of the rocket’s core stage.

Firings by the Lengthy March 3C’s second stage, which additionally consumes hydrazine gas, and the launcher’s cryogenic hydrogen-fueled third stage positioned the mission’s Beidou satellite tv for pc payload in an elliptical switch orbit stretching roughly 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometers) above Earth.

Chinese language officers declared the mission successful, in keeping with an announcement launched by CALT. It was China’s eighth orbital launch try this yr, seven of which have been profitable.

Friday’s launch was the 27th house launch to efficiently attain Earth orbit this yr. Three further launch makes an attempt aiming for orbits round Earth have resulted in failure, two utilizing Iranian boosters and one with a Chinese language rocket.

The Beidou navigation satellite tv for pc launched Friday is heading for geostationary orbit greater than 22,000 miles over the equator. The spacecraft’s on-board engine will circularize its orbit within the subsequent few weeks.

The spacecraft was the 45th satellite tv for pc launched for China’s Beidou community since 2000 — together with prototypes not operational — and the second Beidou satellite tv for pc China has despatched into orbit thus far this yr. The Beidou undertaking is China’s analog to the U.S. army’s World Positioning System, and China says it should have sufficient satellites in orbit to start offering worldwide navigation service subsequent yr, unbiased of the GPS fleet.

The Beidou system is already offering regional navigation service over the Asia-Pacific.

China’s state-run Xinhua information company stated earlier this yr that eight to 10 Beidou satellites can be launched in 2019.

The subsequent Chinese language house launch is scheduled for Wednesday, in keeping with aeronautical warning notices. A Lengthy March rocket will place a Chinese language payload, doubtless a number of army reconnaissance satellites, right into a polar orbit from the Taiyuan house heart within the northeast of the nation.

Email the writer.

Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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