China to launch 6 – 8 latest navigation satellites in 2017

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

08 March 2017

China is planning to put up to 8 latest navigation satellites into space this year as part of its plan to form an orbitting network and offer worldwide navigation services by 2020, reported PTI, the largest news agency in India.

Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, quoting Yang Yuanxi, deputy chief designer of the BeiDou satellite navigation system, said that it is part of a plan to put 35 BeiDou satellites into space to form an orbiting satellite network and offer worldwide navigation services by 2020.

Compared to earlier generation products, the BeiDou-3 is able to cover a wider range and has a longer lifespan of 12 years, according to Bao Weimin, another Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee member and an official with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Named after the Chines name for the Big Dipper constellation, the BeiDou system is designed to offer an alternative to GPS.

China has already sent 22 BeiDou satellites into space.

China expects to provide basic services to limited clients in 2018 and expand to all clients with more accurate and reliable services through better ground- and satellite-based systems by 2020, according to a government white paper published in December.