On 23 June, China has successfully launched the last Satellite of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which is a rival for the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the US, to become a major space power.
- The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch center in Sichuan Province.
- BDS is one of the four global navigation networks among the US’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and European Union’s Galileo.
- A Long March 3B rocket launched the final BDS into orbit from the satellite launch center.
The constellation of BDS-3 with an array of 30 satellites flying on three different orbits planes- three at the GEO, three at the inclined geosynchronous orbits, and 24 at the medium Earth orbit- have higher bandwidth.
Note: India is building its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite system (IRNSS), with operational name NAVIC.
Previous Beidou satellites:
- China started developing the Beidou satellite system in the 1990s.
- The first satellite was launched in October 2000.
- BeiDou-2 became operational in China in 2011 with a partial constellation of 10 satellites in orbit.
- The first BDS-3 satellite was launched on 30 March 2015.
- Fifteen BDS-3 satellites have been launched till October 2018. BeiDou-3 consists of 35 satellites and the final satellite was launched into orbit on 23 June 2020.
- The BDS-3 System satellite has a higher bandwidth, enabling enhanced communication.
President: Xi Jinping