China to Complete its Answer to GPS with BeiDou Navigation Satellite Launches in March, May

China will launch Beidou navigation satellites in March and May this year, completing a constellation designed for an array of civil and military applications.

A Long March 3B rocket arrived at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center Feb. 14, according to China News Service. The Beidou satellite for the launch has also arrived at Xichang, the report states.

Both missions will launch single satellites to geosynchronous transfer orbits using enhanced hypergolic Long March 3B rockets.

Xichang spaceport has implemented measures to counter the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, but has resumed launches following the Chinese New Year holiday. China announced plans for more than 40 launches this year ahead of the outbreak.

The completed Beidou navigation satellite system consists of 27 satellites in medium Earth orbits, five in geostationary orbits and three in inclined GEO orbits. The orbits of the latter are designed to form two figure eight loops to provide optimised coverage to China and neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific.

Read more in Space News article.

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