China launches two MEO BeiDou-3 satellites

China launched two satellites of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

China launches two MEO BeiDou-3 satellites
China launches two MEO BeiDou-3 satellites

China launches two MEO BeiDou-3 satellites

China launched two satellites of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23.

Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket and the Yuanzheng-1 (Expedition-1) upper stage attached to the carrier rocket, the two satellites have entered their planned orbits. They are the 50th and 51st satellites of the BDS satellite family. The two medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites are also network satellites of the BeiDou-3 system.

The two new satellites, the carrier rocket and Yuanzheng-1 were all developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The launch was the 319th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.