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China launches navigation satellites
Posted: Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 2:13 PM ET (1813 GMT)
Long March 3B launch of Compass M5/M6 ( A Chinese rocket launched two navigation satellites into orbit on Wednesday. The Long March 3B lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China at 3:10 pm EDT Tuesday (1910 GMT Tuesday, 3:10 am Beijing time Wednesday) and placed two Beidou satellites into orbit. The two satellites, designated Compass-M5 and M6, were put into medium Earth orbits by the rocket, with altitudes of about 21,500 kilometers. The satellites are the latest to join China'a Beidou satellite navigation system, which provides services to China and surrounding territory today and with plans to provide global coverage, similar to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems, by the end of the decade.
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