Thursday, November 04, 2010

Launch Notification: Beidou G4

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 October 31, 1626 UTC
Site: Xichang Launch Facility, PRC
Launcher: Long March 3C (Chang Zheng 3C)
International Designator(s): 2010-057A

SSC Name Owner

"China launched its sixth Beidou navigation satellite Sunday, reaching another step in a program to provide precise positioning services across the Asia-Pacific region by 2012.

"The satellite lifted off on a Long March 3C rocket at 1626 GMT (12:26 p.m. EDT) Sunday. It was just after midnight at the Xichang launch base in southwestern China's Sichuan province.

"The three-stage rocket, standing 180 feet [55 m] tall at liftoff, placed the Beidou payload on course toward geosynchronous orbit, according to the Chinese government.

"According to tracking data, the spacecraft is in a preliminary orbit stretching from a low point of 115 miles [185 km] to a high point of about 22,260 miles [35,820 km]. Its inclination angle is 20.5 degrees.

"The Beidou, or Compass, satellite will fire its own engine to reach a circular orbit 22,300 miles [35,900 km] above the equator. It is the sixth satellite launched in the first phase of the system's operational fleet.

"The craft launched Sunday is the fourth platform designed for geosynchronous orbit over the equator. One satellite is in a medium-altitude orbit more than 13,000 miles [20,900 km] high, and another spacecraft was injected in an inclined orbit to cover Earth's polar regions.

"Four Beidou satellites have been sent into space so far this year."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "China deploys another navigation satellite to orbit"