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China Launched the 41st BeiDou Satellite and Short Message Capacity Increased by 10 Times

At 23:57 on November 1st, China successfully launched the 17th BeiDou-3 global networking satellites by the Long March 3B carrier rocket at Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC).

Belonging to geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) satellite, it is the 41st BeiDou navigation satellite and the first geostationary orbit satellite of BeiDou-3 system.

“In addition to the Radio Navigation Satellite System (RNSS), this satellite will also provide short message service and Satellite-Based Augmentation Service.” said by Yang Changfeng, chief designer of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

Yang Changfeng said that based on the full compatibility with the short message service of BeiDou-2, the service capacity is increased by 10 times, and its transmission power of the user machine is reduced by 10 times. The short message service capability is greatly improved. “Besides, the satellite will also provide Satellite-Based Augmentation Service and highly precise and sound navigation service in accordance with international civil aviation standards.”

At 16:29 on October 31, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit Xichang City, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and the epicenter was only 50 kilometers away from the launching site. At that time, the launching site was conducting conventional oxidant fill into the rocket. Li Benqi, deputy director of Planning Department in Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC), said: “After the earthquake, the central scientific and technical personnel immediately organized the inspection on the equipment state of each system, and continued to complete the conventional oxidant fill after confirmation.”

It is introduced that the satellite successfully entered the intended orbit, and will then perform tests, experiments, and evaluations, and be networked with the 16 BeiDou-3 navigation satellites launched previously for offering services in due times.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is a self-developed and independently operated global satellite navigation system being implemented in China. It is capable of providing users with high-precision and highly reliable positioning, speed measurement, and time services as well as a unique capability in short-message communications.

“According to the plan, two medium earth orbit satellites will be launched before the end of this year.” Yang Changfeng said, by then, China BeiDou will build a basic system and begin to serve users in countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

The BeiDou navigation satellites and their carrier rockets launched this time were jointly developed by China Academy of Space Technology and China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, both of which are affiliated to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

This was the 290th flight for the Long March series carrier rockets.