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Satnews Daily
February 8th, 2018

China Preparing to Launch Two Beidou Satellites

Preparations underway for the launch of Beidou satellites via a Long March 3B from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province. Photo is courtesy of beidou.gov.cn.

Andrew Jones of the gbTimes is reporting that China will launch a pair of satellites for the nation's Beidou navigation system on Sunday, February 11, via a Long March 3B rocket that's currently being readied to carry the duo from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre to MEOairspace closures indicating that liftoff will take place around 13:10 local time (05:10 UTC, 00:10 ET).

The satellites will be the 28th and 29th for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which is China's version of the Global Positioning System (GPS) that has been developed by the United States. This launch will also be China's seventh of 2018, with the country potentially set to attempt around 40 missions this year, including government and commercial launches, with the return-to-flight of the Long March 5 and the Chang'e-4 lunar far side mission as highlights.

This will also be the second launch of Beidou satellites in 2018, with a previous duo of satellites launched to MEO on January 11. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Group (CASC), the main contractor for the space program, stated that the aim is to launch as many as 18 Beidou satellites by the end of 2018, most of them being launched in pairs.

To read the entire article, please access this direct link to the gbTimes infopage...