A Long March-3C rocket carrying a new-generation satellite for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) left the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Monday, March 30, 2015. China launched an upgraded satellite into space for its own global navigation and positioning network at 9:52 p.m. Beijing Time. It is the 17th satellite for the BDS. The official Xinhua news reported that the launch marked the beginning of the expansion of the regional BDS to global coverage.
According to the center, the latest satellite is tasked with testing a new type of navigation signaling and inter-satellite links, providing the basis to start building the global network.
China launched the first BDS satellite in 2000. The BDS began providing positioning, navigation, timing and short message services to civilian users in China and surrounding areas in the Asia-Pacific in December 2012.
Source: China News Service, March 31, 2015