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China launches navigation satellite
Posted: Sat, Dec 18, 2010, 8:00 AM ET (1300 GMT)
Long MArch 3A launch of Compass-I2 (beidou.gov.cn) A Long March rocket placed into orbit early Saturday the latest spacecraft for China's satellite navigation program. The Long March 3A rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 3:20 pm EST Friday (2020 GMT Friday, 4:20 am Beijing time Saturday) and placed the latest Beidou satellite into orbit. The satellite, designated Compass-I2, is the second satellite to be placed into an inclined geosynchronous orbit, allowing its signals to reach polar regions. The satellite is part of Beidou, China's satellite navigation system that plans to provide regional coverage by 2012 and global coverage by 2020. The launch was the 15th, and likely final, launch of 2010, the most orbital launches China has conducted in a single year.
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