China launches pair of BeiDou-3 Navigation satellites

China launches pair of BeiDou-3 Navigation satellites

Liftoff of the Long March 3B rocket sending the Beidou-3 M15 and M15 satellites into orbit. (Photo: CALT)

China: China launched two BeiDou-3 navigation satellites into medium Earth orbits on a Long March-3B carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province

Four hours after the launch, the two satellites were entered into their orbits, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), which developed the Long March 3B rocket, reported that data logging and active tracking equipment was placed aboard for tests to determine to altitude and timing for future parachute landings for boosters.

The BeiDou satellite numbered 14th and 15th are the 39th and 40th launch of this navigation system. China plans to send another three BeiDou-3 satellites into space by the end of the year.