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China launches tenth 'Beidou' navigation satellite

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BEIJING (PTI): China on Friday successfully put in orbit a satellite, the tenth one for its indigenous global navigation and positioning network, barely two days after it launched a remote sensing satellite.

The satellite, which is a part of China's global navigation network, Beidou, was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern Sichuan Province at 5:07 a.m local time.

Beidou was formed in 2000 to reduce China's dependency on the US-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS) and groom it as a rival to it.

The Beidou system would provide test-run services of positioning, navigation and time for China and the neighbouring countries before the end of this year, said official news agency Xinhua, quoting authorities.

Twenty five satellites would be launched by the end of this year and by 2020, 30 satellites will orbit the earth as part of the network, they said.

The satellite launched today was boosted by a Long March-3A carrier rocket, Xinhua reported.

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