China has successfully launched a 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite to support its global navigation and positioning network.
The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on board of Long March-3C carrier rocket.
It is the 23rd satellite in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which is being developed as an alternative to GPS (Global Positioning System) of US. It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.
23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others satellite of the system already in orbit. It will help to improve the stability of the BeiDou Navigation system to offer global coverage.
About BeiDou Navigation System (BNS)
- BNS is 2nd generation of the Chinese navigational system seen as rival to the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS).
- The system comprises total 35 satellites in two separate satellite constellations (i) Limited test system (operational since 2000) (ii) A full-scale global navigation system which is currently under construction.
- The BNS became operational in December 2011 in China with the constellation of 10 satellites of the system.
- In December 2012, the system began offering services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. On its completion in 2020, the system will provide services to global customers.
- After completion, the navigaton system would become an equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass.
- Applications: (i) Civilian services: Navigation, messaging, transportation and weather forecasting sectors. (ii) Military applications: Ensure privacy for its military communications and missile launches by reducing the dependence on US operated GPS.