China did not wait for long time with launching next Beidou satellite: designed and manufactured by China Association for Science and Technology BD-2-G7 will be probably launched today.
Information was unveiled on Chinese space forum and seems to be truth. A NOTAM notification for Xichang Satellite Center along with area of potential trajectory seems to confirm this news. According to Chinese sources launch is planned for 15:30 GMT. CNSA will utilize for this mission Long March 3C rocket and it will be third launch of Beidou satellite in 2016 after missions from 29 March 2016 and 1 February 2016.
Long March 3C will deliver to orbit satellite from Xichang Satellite Center. It is next spacecraft from planned constellation of 35 spacecrafts becoming fully operational in 2020. Second generation Beidou satellites are represented by two types: BD-2-M and BD-2-G, both designed with estimated operational life of eight years. M satellites weigh at 2200 kg and have power consumption at 3000 W, G weighs 4600 kg (with 450 kg of payload) and has power consumption at 6800 W. BD-2-G7 is powered with two deployable solar arrays and onboard batteries. It has following dimensions: 2.2 m x 2.0 m x 3.0 m and is equipped with 490 N thruster. It is equipped with navigational payload utilizing phased array antenna for emitting navigation signal, laser retroreflector for orbital positioning and additional antennas for S/L/C band transmitters. It will be probably placed on orbit with perigee 35775 km and apogee at 35799 km.
Long March 3C rocket was designed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and performed its maiden flight in 2009. It is operating from Xichang Satellite Center from Launch Complex 2. It is long for 54.8 m with diameter at 3.35 m and mass of 345000 kg. It is able to deliver to GTO orbit up to 3800 kg and in extended version 100 kg more (C/E version has longer boosters and first stage with extended capacity). Since 2010 it performed 13 flights with success ratio at 100%. It is equipped with two liquid fueled (with 41100 kg of N2O4/UDMH) boosters, each powered with single YF-25 engine. Thrust of each booster is 740.4 kN. First stage is powered by 4 YF-21C liquid fueled with 171800 kg of N2O4/UDMH engines with thrust at 2961.6 kN. It is long for 23.27 m with diameter at 3.35 m. Second stage is powered by combination of central YF-24E (742 kN) and four stabilizing YF-23C (47.1 kN) engines also fueled with N2O4/UDMH. Second stage has diameter at 3.35 m and length of 12.92 m and is fueled with 49400 kg of propellant. Last stage holds 18200 kg of LH2/LOX and is powered with single YF-75 engine offering thrust at 167.17 kN. Third stage is slightly narrow than first and second stage, with diameter at 3 m; length of the third stage is 12.38 m.