China launches two navigation satellites

April 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM
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XICHANG, China, April 30 (UPI) -- China has successfully launched two more satellites in its Beidou global navigation and positioning network, authorities said.

The Beidou-2 satellites were launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center Monday morning in the southwestern province of Sichuan, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Sent into orbit atop a Lon March-3B carrier rocket, it was the first time China has launched two navigation satellites with one rocket, Xinhua said.

The two satellites will help to improve the accuracy of the Beidou (Compass) system, the launch center said in a statement.

The Compass system is similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS.

China will launch three more satellites for the Beidou network this year and the global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with more than 30 orbiters, authorities said.

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