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Beidou 3M6



Named for the Chinese word for the Big Dipper constellation, the Beidou constellation achieved an initial operating capability with coverage over the Asia-Pacific region in 2012. Development of the Beidou program began in 1994.

The first Beidou test satellite launched in 2000. With Monday’s mission, China has launched 29 Beidou navigation payloads into orbit, but not all of them remain operational.

When complete, the Beidou system will join the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System, Russia’s Glonass satellite network, and Europe’s Galileo fleet — which is still being deployed — as the world’s four navigation services with global reach.

Alternate Names

  • 43208
  • Beidou3M6

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2018-02-12
Launch Vehicle: Long March 3B/E
Launch Site: Xichang, Peoples Republic of China

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Peoples Republic of China)


  • Navigation/Global Positioning

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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