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China on Monday sent two new satellites of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) into space.
The satellites that were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, Sichuan province, at 5.10 a.m. on a Long March-3B carrier rocket, have entered orbit. They are the 47th and 48th satellites of the BDS satellite family, Xinhua news agency reported.
The new satellites and the carrier rocket were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
After in-orbit tests, the new satellites will work with the BDS satellites already in orbit to improve the positioning accuracy of the system.
They are also equipped with new processors to improve navigation signals.
The launch on Monday also opened a new round of busy launch schedules for BDS, during which, from the second half of 2019-2020, a complete constellation system will be deployed, said the CAST.
Monday's launch was the 312th mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.
China plans to send 10 BDS satellites into space in 2019. The launches will help complete the BDS global network by 2020.