Ming Pao reports: At 3.00am Wednesday, a Long March 3B Rocket successfully launched the 14th and 15th satellites for China’s BeiDou (COMPASS) Navigation Satellite System, a system similar to America’s GPS System very useful in war as it can guide missiles and bombs to hit targets with error less than 10 metres.
It was the second time that China launched two Beidou navigation satellites with one rocket and also the third launching in 2012 in building up the Beidou System.
According to experts, the successful launching this time marked the increased maturity of China’s technology for fast formation of its Beidou Navigation Satellite System.
The office in charge of the system says, since the formal announcement of the trial operation of the system in December 2011, the system has been operating smoothly and its service functions have been upgraded continuously.
Assessment test indicates that its horizontal positioning accuracy is 10 meters, vertical positioning accuracy, 15 meters and speed measuring accuracy, 0.2 meters per second. It provides signals for clock synchronisation accurate to 50 nanoseconds.
Now its use has been extended to transportation, weather forecasting, fishery, forestry, telecommunications, water conservancy, mapping and other areas of application and has brought about significant economic and social results.
According to the “three-step” development strategy of the system, China will launch another satellite for the system at the end of 2012 to complete the task of building up the regional network and upgrading the services of the regional system.
By around 2020, the whole Beidou Navigation Satellite System, consisting of over 30 satellites, will be completely built up to provide globally highly accurate and stable positioning, navigation and clock synchronisation services.
The two Beidou Navigation satellites and its Long March 3B carrier rocket were respectively developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and China Academy of Lauching Vehicle Technology under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. It was the 167th time that the Long March series of carrier rockets carried out an aerospace launching task.
- China Launches Navigation Satellites Into Orbit (space.com)
- Obama’s Generous New Year Gift to China (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
- In Its Arms Race with America China Launches Two Satellites for Its GPS System (tiananmenstremendousachievements.wordpress.com)
- China puts its first woman astronaut into orbit (chinadailymail.com)