XICHANG, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China sent a new satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 10:41 p.m. Saturday.
Launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket, it is the 44th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the first BDS-3 satellite in inclined geosynchronous Earth orbit.
After in-orbit tests, the satellite will work with 18 other BDS-3 satellites in intermediate circular orbit and one in geosynchronous Earth orbit.
Yang Changfeng, chief designer of the BeiDou system, said that the hybrid constellation design, in which three groups of satellites at different orbital regimes work in concert, was an exclusive BDS innovation and the world's first.
It will increase the number of visible satellites in the Asian-Pacific Region, providing better service for the region, Yang said.
The launch was the 302nd flight mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets, and the 100th for the Long March-3B. Enditem