China Successfully Launches 56th BeiDou Navigation Satellite

On May 17th, at 10:49 am, China successfully launched the 56th BeiDou Navigation Satellite (GEO-4) using a Long March-3B carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

The satellite is the first backup satellite of China’s BeiDou-3 project. After being launched and completing in-orbit testing, it will be integrated into the BeiDou Satellite Navigation System.

The launch is the first mission after a 3-year interval following the high-density networking of the BeiDou-3 project. According to reports, this satellite has achieved in-orbit thermal backup for existing geostationary orbit satellites, which will enhance system availability and robustness and help users achieve fast and high-precision positioning.

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Chen Gucang, the Deputy Director of the China Satellite Navigation System Management Office, previously revealed that China plans to launch 1 to 3 BeiDou network backup satellites this year to further enhance constellation stability and availability.

According to statistics, there are currently over 7.9 million road-operating vehicles, more than 47,000 ships, and over 40,000 postal and express delivery vehicles using the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) nationwide. Nearly 8,000 types of BDS terminals have been promoted in the railway field.