China Launches BeiDou IGSO Spacecraft

With little fanfare or prior announcement, China launched another second-generation BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) satellite last week, the 22nd in the nation’s GNSS program.

The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan on March 29 local time on board a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

An inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) spacecraft designated Beidou-2 IGSO-6, it is expected to operate at an altitude of about 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) with an inclination of about 55 degrees.

With little fanfare or prior announcement, China launched another second-generation BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) satellite last week, the 22nd in the nation’s GNSS program.

The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan on March 29 local time on board a Long March-3A carrier rocket.

An inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) spacecraft designated Beidou-2 IGSO-6, it is expected to operate at an altitude of about 22,000 miles (35,400 kilometers) with an inclination of about 55 degrees.

This is the second BDS launch this year, following one on February 1 that placed a middle-Earth-orbit (MEO) into the constellation. According to news reports from China’s Xinhua state news agency, only two BeiDou launches are planned this year, although the program proposes to add 16 more by the end of 2018.

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