Launch Updates - Analytical Graphics, Inc.

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New Launch: 2011 July 26, 2144 UTC
Site: Xichang Launch Facility, PRC
Launcher: Long March 3A (Chang Zheng 3A)
International Designator(s): 2011-038A
 
SSC Name Owner
37763 BEIDOU IGSO 4 PRC


"Launching in a torrential rain and lightning storm, a Long March rocket lifted off Tuesday from southwest China and successfully released a navigation satellite in orbit, state-run media reported.

"The Long March 3A rocket launched at 2144 GMT (5:44 p.m. EDT) from the Xichang space center in southwest China's Sichuan province, according to the Xinhua news agency.

"The blastoff was at 5:44 a.m. local time and occurred amid heavy rain and lightning, Xinhua reported.

"The 17-story rocket was aiming for an elliptical orbit stretching from about 100 miles [160 km] altitude to about 22,000 miles [35,400 km] above Earth, where the launcher's third stage was supposed to deploy a Beidou navigation and positioning spacecraft.

"The launch was a success, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

"The satellite will circularize its orbit at an altitude of about 22,000 miles [35,400 km] and an inclination of 55 degrees, putting the craft in range of users in polar regions.

"It was the ninth operational Beidou satellite launched since 2007 and the second Chinese navigation payload shot into orbit this year. More satellites will be launched through 2012 to expand the Beidou network's coverage throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

"The Beidou satellite network will eventually consist of 35 spacecraft in orbit providing global navigation and positioning coverage by 2020.

"The satellite constellation, also known as Compass, is designed to provide precise navigation, timing and messaging services. It is China's counterpart to the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System, Russia's Glonass satellite fleet and Europe's Galileo program.

"The best service will be available to Chinese military and civil government users. Positioning information with an accuracy of 10 meters, or about 33 feet, will be released to the public worldwide."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Another Chinese navigation satellite launched into orbit"

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© 2011 Analytical Graphics, Inc.  |   220 Valley Creek Blvd. Exton, PA 19341

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