A Long March 3C (CZ-3C) rocket took-off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in South-west China at 1530 GMT on 12 June 2016. The launch was carrying the Beidou-2 G7 spacecraft which will form part of the GEO portion of Compass, a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) – the Chinese national alternative to the American GPS (Global Positioning System).

The spacecraft, like its sister units, is based on the DFH-3 bus built by the DongFangHong (DFH) company, part of CAST (Chinese Academy of Space Technology).


In a hint that the Chinese launch rate will continue to maintain its recent momentum, the launch marks the seventh Chinese Long March mission so far this year. Later this month, the new Long March 7 vehicle will make its maiden flight from the new Wenchang Satellite Launch Center located in Southern China.