China launches 10th Compass Beidou-2 Navigation Satellite into Geosynchronous Orbit
Long March 3-A launcher carrying the 10th Compass/Beidou2 satellite (Xinhuanet photo) (Click image to enlarge.)
December 2, 2011
China launched its 10th Compass/ BeiDou-2 GNSS satellite this morning (December 2, 2011). This is the third Compass satellite launched this year and the fifth placed into an inclined geosynchronous orbit.
According to Xinhua, China's official news source, the spacecraft went up on a Long March 3A launcher at 5:07 A.M. local time from Xichang launch center in Sichuan province.
China is fast-tracking its own GNSS, which will ultimately consist of 35 satellites. At a recent industry forum in Beijing addressing strategic development of BeiDou, government experts said that, if all goes as planned, 16 satellites would comprise the Compass constellation by the end of 2012.
Officials with the China Civil Aviation Authority announced this year that civil aircraft currently using the U.S. GPS system will gradually convert to use of Compass.
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