|A Long March-3B rocket blasts off yesterday|
A Long March-3B rocket blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Sichuan Province, yesterday, carrying two more satellites for China’s Beidou-2, or “Compass,” global positioning system.
The two orbiters, No. 12 and 13, joined a constellation of satellites that, by 2020, should comprise more than 30. Yesterday marked the first time China launched two satellites on a single rocket. In addition to global-positioning functionality for civilian use, the Beidou system will also provide the People’s Liberation Army with accurate imagery for use military use, including precision targeting for its cruise missiles and UAV navigation.