22nd BeiDou Navigation Satellite Has Been Launched by China


22nd new generation satellite has been successfully launched by China into space as part of its domestic BeiDou Navigation System (BDS). It was launched using Long March-3A carrier rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center located in the south-western province of Sichuan.

It is 225th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.

About BeiDou Navigation System (BNS):

  • BNS is rival to the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and 2nd generation of the Chinese navigational system.
  • BeiDou is Mandarin means magnetic Compass which was one of the Chinese major inventions in the history which had revolutionized the sea voyages.

The system comprises total 35 satellites in two separate satellite constellations and they are:

  • Limited test system (operational since 2000)
  • A full-scale global navigation system which is currently under construction.
  • In December 2011 the BNS became operational in China with the constellation of 10 satellites.
  • The system began offering services to customers in the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012.
  • The system will provide services to global customers after it will completed in 2020.

The project would also become an equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, Russia’s Glonass, and Europe’s Galileo after completion.


Civilian services:

  • Navigation
  • Messaging
  • transportation
  • weather forecasting sectors

Military applications:

  • Ensure privacy for its military communications
  • Missile launches by reducing the dependence on US operated GPS.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 31, 2016