Spaceflight Now Home








NewsAlert



Sign up for our NewsAlert service and have the latest news in astronomy and space e-mailed direct to your desktop.

Enter your e-mail address:

Privacy note: your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose.



Chinese rocket launches with Beidou navigation satellite
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW

Posted: January 16, 2010


Bookmark and Share

A Chinese Long March rocket hauled a new navigation satellite to a high-altitude perch over Earth on Saturday, marking the first space launch of the year for the world's space programs.

The Long March 3C rocket blasted off from the Xichang space center at 1612 GMT (11:12 a.m. EST) Saturday, or just after midnight Sunday morning local time, state media reported.

The 180-foot-tall booster flew east from Xichang, which is situated in Sichuan province in southwestern China. The Beidou, or Compass, navigation satellite was placed on a trajectory toward geosynchronous orbit, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The satellite is the third member of the second-generation Beidou constellation. Two spacecraft were launched to medium Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

First-generation satellites were launched between 2000 and 2007 to test the Beidou concept in space and provide limited services for China.

China eventually expects to launch 35 Beidou satellites, allowing the system to have a global reach similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System. Russia operates a fleet of Glonass navigation satellites, and Europe is developing the Galileo satellite navigation system.

Officials hope the Beidou system will provide navigation, timing and messaging services to the Asia-Pacific region by 2012, Xinhua reported.

China says Beidou services will be available at no charge to civilians with positioning accuracy of about 10 meters, or 33 feet. More precise navigation data will be given to Chinese government and military users, according to Xinhua.

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

STS-134 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Project Orion
The Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.
 U.S. STORE


Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.