China successfully launched two satellites into space for its Beidou global navigation and positioning network, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday, referring to the launch center.
The Beidou-2 satellites, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 4:50 a.m. Beijing Time Monday, were lifted into space by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and have entered the scheduled orbit.
It is the first time China has launched two navigation satellites, the 12th and 13th of its indigenous global navigation and positioning network, with one rocket.
“The two satellites will help improve the accuracy of the Beidou, or Compass system,” the agency quoted the center as saying in a statement.
China will launch three more satellites for the Beidou network this year and its global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with more than 30 orbiters.
Beidou currently provides navigation services within China and the neighboring regions. After completion, the project would become an equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's Glonass, and Europe's Galileo.