China successfully launched another navigation satellite on Monday with the flight of Beidou-3I3 (IGSO-3) that took place from the LC2 Launch Complex of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province. The launch used the Long March-3B/G2 ‘Chang Zheng-3B/G2’ (Y61) launch vehicle. T-0 was recorded at around 17:43 UTC.
Also designated Beidou-49, the satellite is part of the IGSO (Inclined) 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 satellites were orbited on September 22, with a Long March-3B/YZ-1 launching the Beidou-3M23 ‘Beidou-47’ and Beidou-3M24 ‘Beidou-48’ satellites from Xichang.
Render of a BeiDou-3 satellite by J. Huart.
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 ...