China launched two Beidou satellites

China launched two satellites
Credit: NASA

China launched two more satellites for its Beidou (Compass) global navigation and positioning network on Wednesday, 19 September 2012. The satellites, launched from the Xichang satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, were lifted into space by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and have entered the scheduled orbit. This is the second successful launch for China this year of two navigation satellites, the 14th and 15th of its indigenous global navigation and positioning network, with one rocket. The previous launch occurred in April. Beidou currently provides navigation services within China and the neighboring regions. After completion, scheduled for 2020, the project would become an equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's Glonass, and Europe's Galileo.