China launching spacecraft at record rate

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- China put a navigation satellite in orbit in the 12th space launch of the year, eclipsing its own record for most space missions in a year, authorities said.

The launch Sunday of a Long March rocket broke the country's record of 11 launches of human, scientific and military missions China set in 2008, reported.


In addition to navigation satellites, China has launched three military reconnaissance satellites, a mapping satellite, a broadcasting satellite and its Chang 2 moon probe.

The record for this year could reach 15 as China plans three more launches by the end of December.

A weather satellite set for launch this month could be followed by another communications satellite and a navigation satellite before the end of the year, said.

The record launch rate comes as NASA and China open a joint dialogue on potential space cooperation inaugurated by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden's visit to China last month.

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