China successfully launched another of its new range of navigation satellites on Monday. Launch of Beidou-3I2 (IGSO-2) took place from the LC3 Launch Complex of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, using the Long March-3B/G2 ‘Chang Zheng-3B/G2’ (Y60) launch vehicle. Launch time was 18:05 UTC.
Also designated Beidou-46, the satellite is part of the GEO component of the 3rd phase of the Chinese Beidou (Compass) satellite navigation system, using both geostationary satellites and satellites in intermediate orbits.
The satellites are based on the DFH-3B Bus. This bus has a payload increased to 450 kg and payload power to 4,000 W. They feature a phased array antenna for navigation signals and a laser retroreflector and additionally deployable S/L-band and C-band antennas. With a launch mass of 4,600 kg, spacecraft dimensions are noted to be 2.25 by 1.0 by 1.22 meters.
Previous Beidou satellite was orbited on May 17, with a Long March-3C/G2 launch vehicle launching the Beidou-2GEO8 ‘Beidou-45’ satellite from Xichang.
The Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has been independently constructed, developed and operated by China taking into account the needs of the country’s national security, economic and social development. As a space infrastructure of national significance, BDS provides all-time, ...