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China launched its third BeiDou satellite this year


The People’s Republic of China launched the BeiDou-2 G7 positioning satellite on a Long March rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 23:30 on June 12 local time (0:30 on June 13 JST). This is the third BeiDou-2 satellite to be launched this year after the two launches on February 1 and March 30. It was put onto a geostationary transfer orbit, making the launch a success.

BeiDou-2 G7

Image provided by: Xinhua

According to ground control, the satellite will be placed in one of five prescribed stationary orbit positions (altitude of approximately 36,000 kilometers, stationary position: east longitude 58.75 degrees, 80 degrees, 110.5 degrees, 140 degrees, or 160 degrees). BeiDou-2 G5, BeiDou-2 G6, BeiDou-2 G3, BeiDou-2 G1, and BeiDou-2 G4 are currently in these stationary positions. This launch brings the total number of Chinese positioning satellites launched since April 2007 to 23 (geostationary orbit [GEO]: six, medium earth orbit [MEO]: eight, inclined geosynchronous orbit [IGSO]: nine).