BeiDou Navigation Satellite System Current Affairs - 2019

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China’s Long March Rocket Series Completes 300 launches

China’s Long March Rocket Series which is the mainstay of China’s space programme since 1970 has successfully completed its 300th  launch by putting a new communication satellite into orbit through Long March-3B Rocket.

China’s Long March-3B Rocket Series

  • China’s indigenously built China’s Long March rockets have sent more than 500 spacecraft into space.
  • The rocket series built by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation was responsible for about 96.4 per cent of all the launch missions in China.
  • The Long March rockets have also provided provide launch services for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, including Algeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
  • The Long March-1 carrier rocket launched the country’s first satellite, Dongfanghong-1, into orbit on April 24, 1970.
  • The success rate of the 300 launches of the Long March rockets stood at 96 per cent.
  • The Long March rockets completed 37 consecutive successful launches, ranking a global first for the highest number of successful launches in 2018.

A total of 17 types of Long March carrier rockets have been developed and put into use since 1970, ensuring the implementation of a series of key space projects including manned space program, lunar exploration, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and the Gaofen Earth observation project.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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China’s navigation satellite system BeiDou starts providing global service

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has started offering global service. It is touted as a rival to America’s Global Positioning System (GPS). Pakistan has become the first foreign nation to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on GPS.

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was the fourth global navigation system after US’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

China has named its navigation satellite system after the Chinese term which means ‘Big Dipper’. BeiDou-1 consisted of three satellites and was offering navigation services mainly in China and neighbouring regions.  It was decommissioned in 2012.

The second generation of the navigation system, BeiDou-2 became operational in China in December 2011 with a partial constellation of 10 satellites in orbit and started providing services in the Asia-Pacific region from December 2012. The third generation of the navigation system, BeiDou-3 began to provide global services from 27th December 2018.

China plans to have a total of 33  satellites operating in orbit for BeiDou by the end of 2018 which includes 15 BeiDou-2 satellites and 18 BeiDou-3 satellites. China further plans to launch another 11 BeiDou-3 satellites and one BeiDou-2 satellite in the coming two years to form a complete global network for enhancing the global service performance.

India’s Navigation System

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) named NAVIC is a regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services covering India and a region extending 1,500 km around it. NAVIC provides two levels of service, the standard positioning service, which will be open for civilian use, and restricted service for authorized users (including military). There are plans to expand the NavIC system by increasing the number of satellites from 7 to 11.

Month: Categories: International

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