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LM-3B Launched Two Beidou Navigation Satellites
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2015-08-10

At 20:29 on July 25, China successfully launched two new-generation satellites for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on a Long March-3B/Yuanzheng-1 rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwest Sichuan Province. After about 3.5 hours of flight, the Yuanzheng-1’s upper stage accurately sent two satellites into their target orbits. The successful launch marked that the Beidou satellite navigation system had taken a solid step towards the construction goal of the global coverage.

The LM-3B / Yuanzheng-1 rocket was developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It is a four-stage rocket which consists of the base stage and the upper stage. The base stage rocket is improved and developed on the basis of the LM-3B launch vehicle in order to adaptively use the upper stage which is the three liquid strap-on rocket, which is strapped four boosters on its first stage. The upper stage is the conventional propellant orbital launch vehicle specially developed for the launch of the new generation Beidou navigation satellites.

The launch is the 206th launch of the Long March series of carrier rockets, the 63rd of the Long March-3A carrier rocket series and the second flight of the Yuanzheng-1upper stage, and is also the first time for the upper stag to launch two satellites into orbits.

The two launched satellites were developed by China Academy of Space Technology, CASC. The intermediate circular orbit (ICO) satellites are China's 18th and 19th Beidou navigation satellites. After entering their orbits, the satellites carry out the test and verification of the new navigation signals, inter-satellite links, etc., and timely access network to provide services together with the 17th Beidou navigation satellite launched early.

The launch is the first space launch of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation the second half of this year, marking that the high density space launch of the second half of this year officially started.