China launches pulsar navigation satellite XPNAV-1

Posted on:12 Nov 2016 09:12:50
China launches pulsar navigation satellite XPNAV-1
12 November 2016 Current Affairs: China has launched a pulsar test satellite XPNAV-1 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. The satellite was carried by a Long March-11 rocket.

It was the 239th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.The satellite and the rocket were designed by academies affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

Highlights  : This X-ray pulsar navigation satellite weighs more than 200 kilogrammes. It operates in a Sun-synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. 

 While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability.

The periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars will be used to determine the location of a spacecraft in deep space.

 The X-ray pulsar navigation will help reduce the spacecraft’s reliance on ground-based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

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