China launches a Long March 3B carrier rocket to place two Beidou navigation satellites into space at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Sept 23, 2019. (Photo by Zhang Wenjun/chinadaily.com.cn)
China will possibly launch all BeiDou-3 satellites to complete the global network of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System into space by the end of June, about half a year ahead of schedule, according to a top system official.
Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said recently that he was very confident that all BeiDou-3 satellites will be launched into space by the end of June to complete the constellation system half a year earlier.
Ran made the remarks at the first China-Central Asia BeiDou Cooperation Forum, a sideline event of the seventh China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum that kicked off in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Friday.
As the construction of the system will come to an end, the follow-up stable operation will rise to a height as important as the engineering construction, application promotion and international cooperation, Ran said.
The stable operation of the BDS will be the world's leading level, contributing a first-class satellite navigation system with global coverage and advanced performance to the world, he said.
China started to build the BDS-3 system in 2009, and planned to complete construction by the end of 2020, with intensive launch missions. A previous plan showed China would send 10 BDS satellites into space this year.
To meet the tight launch schedule, satellite developer China Academy of Space Technology said it streamlined the development process of BDS satellites, halving the development cycle of a single satellite model to 18 months.
On Sept 23, two new medium earth orbit satellites equipped with lightweight hydrogen maser clocks were launched into space, which will make the satellite navigation system work more accurately.
The system has been applied in many industries, including transport, maritime affairs, electricity, civil affairs, meteorology, fisheries, surveying and mapping, mining and public security.
China has established BDS cooperation mechanisms with countries and organizations, strengthening technical exchanges and personnel training, and building BDS overseas centers.