China have successfully launched their second Compass navigation satellite, which lifted off 4:11 am local time on Saturday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The Long March 3-A launch vehicle placed the Beidou-2B satellite in a 21,500 km orbit.
The launch comes just two days after the CZ-2C Chang Zheng-2C (CZ2C-16) launch of China’s second ocean survey satellite, Haiyang-1, from Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center.
According to the Xinhua news agency the “Compass” navigational system is mainly designed for the country’s economic development, providing navigation and positioning services for transportation, meteorology, petroleum prospecting, forest fire monitoring, disaster forecast, telecommunications and public security, among others.
The “Compass” system will cover China and it’s neighboring countries from 2008, with the launch of more satellites in the system expected.
Chinese experts noted that the system is operating well under its current configuration, and has played an important role in providing all-weather data and continuous navigation and positioning information.â€œ
Previous reports said it will provide clients with positioning accuracy within 10 meters, velocity accuracy with 0.2 meter per second and timing accuracy within 50 nanoseconds.
The launch represents the 97th flight of China’s Long March series of rockets.
This launch comes after the launch of Beidou-2A on February 2nd. This satellite had power problems after getting in to orbit but according to the Chinese authorities this problems were overcome and the satellite will provide the services which was intended too.