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China launches reconnaissance satellite
Posted: Fri, May 11, 2012, 6:33 AM ET (1033 GMT)
Long March 4B launch of Yaogan-14 (Xinhua) China launched on Thursday a satellite believed to be the latest in a series of military reconnaissance spacecraft. The Long March 4B lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 3:06 am EDT (0703 GMT, 3:16 pm Beijing time) Thursday and placed the Yaogan 14 satellite into a Sun-synchronous orbit. Chinese officials said the satellite would carry out scientific experiments and remote sensing, although Western analysts widely believe that the satellite's primary mission is military reconnaissance. The launch also placed a small experimental satellite, Tiantuo 1, into orbit. The launch was the seventh this year by China, and the third in less than two weeks after the launch of two navigation satellites on April 30 and a civilian mapping satellite on May 6.
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