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Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:41AM
The Long March-3B rocket carrying two satellites blasts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Sichuan province, April 30, 2012.

The Long March-3B rocket carrying two satellites blasts off from the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Xichang, Sichuan province, April 30, 2012.

China says it has successfully placed its 12th and 13th navigation satellites in orbit by using a Long March satellite carrier rocket. The rocket carrying the Beidou-2 satellites blasted off from the southwestern Sichuan province at 4:50 a.m. Beijing time on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported. This is the first time China has launched two navigation satellites with one rocket. China says the two navigation satellites help improve the accuracy of its Beidou global navigation and positioning network. China says it will launch three more satellites for the Beidou network this year. Beijing wants to develop a global navigation network similar to the GPS by 2020. The system will provide navigation and positioning services in various fields. DB/GHN/HJL
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