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China to launch Eutelsat spacecraft
Posted: Wed, Feb 25, 2009, 8:57 AM ET (1357 GMT)
Long March 3B launch of Chinasat 9 (Xinhua) China has won a contract to launch a European communications satellite, the Wall Street Journal reported in its Wednesday edition. The unspecified Eutelsat spacecraft is reportedly a so-called "ITAR-free" spacecraft that does not contain US-built components and thus does not fall under US export control regulations, which prohibit the export of spacecraft or spacecraft components to China. The Chinese family of Long March vehicles have been largely shut out of the commercial launch market since US export control regulations were strengthened a decade ago, but have been slowly reentering the market through the launch of European ITAR-free spacecraft as well as domestically-built satellites. Eutelsat reportedly made the decision to launch on a Long March because of a need to get the spacecraft in orbit quickly after its W2M spacecraft failed last month.
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