• An artist's concept of China's satellite from the homegrown Beidou Navigation System.

An artist's concept of China's satellite from the homegrown Beidou Navigation System. (Photo : www.snipview.com)

China has successfully launched two satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 8:29 p.m. Beijing time on Saturday, July 25, for its global navigation and positioning network, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to the center, the two satellites were the 18th and 19th spacecraft launched by the country for the Beidou Navigation Satellite system, China's homegrown navigation system.

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A Long March-3B/Expedition-1 carrier rocket took the two satellites into their preset orbits three and a half hours after the launch, the center said.

An independent aircraft, called Expedition-1, or Yuanzheng-1, is installed on the carrier rocket, which is capable of sending one or more spacecraft into different orbits in space.

The report said that the two satellites will join the 17th with the mission to test a new type of navigation signal system and inter-satellite link, as well as provide navigation services, which is part of the network. The 17th satellite for Beidou Navigation System was launched in late March.

The successful launch was the 206th flight of China's Long March, called Chang Zheng carriers, the report added.

The country launched the first Beidou satellite in 2000 and the Beidou system started providing navigation, positioning, timing and short message services to civilian users in the country and people from surrounding areas in the Asia-Pacific region in Dec. 2012.

According to the report, the system was slowly applied for use in extended sectors that included weather forecasting, transportation, marine fishing industry, forestry and telecommunications.

The successful launch is hailed as another significant step in building Beidou into a navigation system with global coverage, the center said.