China launches new high-orbit satellite

• China on Friday successfully launched a high orbit satellite to boost its home-grown BeiDou global satellite navigation system being built to rival United States Global Position System (GPS).

• State-run Xinhua reported that the satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern Sichuan Province.

• It is the first BeiDou-3 satellite in high orbit, about 36,000 km above the Earth. In a geostationary orbit, following the Earth’s rotation, it will view the same point on Earth continuously.

• The satellite is meant to serve countries in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

• It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the US GPS system, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Technology

Prelims level: High-orbit satellite

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