China launches first geostationary BeiDou-3 satellite

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System logo.

Nov. 2, 2018

Long March-3B carrying BeiDou-3 GEO-1 launch

A Long March-3B (Chang Zheng-3) rocket launched the first geostationary BeiDou-3 navigation satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan Province, southwest China, on 1 November 2018, at 15:57 UTC (23:57 local time).

BeiDou-3 GEO-1 – the first geostationary BeiDou-3 satellite

BeiDou-3 GEO-1 is the 41st BeiDou navigation satellite and the first geostationary orbit satellite of the BeiDou-3 system. This is the 17th satellite for the BeiDou-3 system, with 18 BeiDou-3 satellites expected to be orbiting by the end of the year.

 BeiDou-3 GEO-1

The satellite will use its own engine to circularize its orbit over the equator in the coming weeks, settling into a position in geostationary orbit, where its speed will match the rate of Earth’s rotation, allowing the Beidou spacecraft to remain over the same geographic region.

Beidou Constellation

The Beidou network has provided regional navigation services over the Asia-Pacific since the end of 2012, and China plans to roll out a wider coverage zone stretching over Asia, Europe and most of Africa at the end of this year. Global service is planned around 2020 once the constellation contains more than 30 satellites.

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit:

For more information about China National Space Administration (CNSA), visit:

For more information about Beidou navigation system:

Images, Video, Text, Credits: CASC/CNSA/IGS/CCTV/SciNews.

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