Beidou satellite launch postponed over technical issues

The launch mission for the final satellite in the third-generation network of China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System has been postponed due to technical issues, according to the mission command.

The command said in a statement on Tuesday morning that "technical problems on products" of the Long March 3B carrier rocket were spotted during pre-launch checks, leading to postponement.

The new date for the launch has yet to be decided, it said, without elaborating.

The mission was scheduled to take place at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province on Tuesday morning, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

The satellite to be lifted is the 59th in the Beidou family and 30th in the third-generation series.

It will work with other Beidou satellites to allow users around the globe to access high-accuracy navigation, positioning and timing services.

The launch will mark the completion of the Beidou network, China's largest space-based system and one of the four global navigation networks, along with the United States' GPS, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo.

Since 2000, when the first Beidou satellite entered orbit, 58 satellites, including the first four experimental ones, have been launched. Some have since been retired.

Beidou began providing positioning, navigation, timing and messaging services to civilian users in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012. At the end of 2018, Beidou started to provide global services.

Currently, there are 29 third-generation Beidou satellites in three types of orbit - 24 in medium-Earth orbits, three in inclined geosynchronous satellite orbits and two in geostationary orbits.

There also are some second-generation Beidou satellites in operation, offering regional services.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Related Links
BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
GPS Applications, Technology and Suppliers

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