Reports on http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/ state that work on the third generation of the Beidou (Compass) navigation system has started in China. The space segment of the system will consist of a constellation of 5 Beidou-G satellites in geostationary orbit, 3 Beidou-I satellites in inclined geostationary orbit and 27 Beidou-M satellites in medium Earth orbit. Each satellite is expected to have an 8 year life and will be launched on the Long March 3B/E or Long March 5 with the first launch expected in 2016. The constellation is expected to be fully operational from 2020.
China starts work on third generation navigation system
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