China successfully launched two satellites into space at 4:50 a.m. Beijing Time Monday, the 12th and 13th satellites for its Beidou global navigation and positioning network, the launch center said.
The Beidou-2 satellites, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, was boosted by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and has entered the scheduled orbit.
It is the first time China has launched two navigation satellites with one rocket, and the two satellites will help to improve the accuracy of the Beidou, or Compass system, the center said in a statement.
China will launch three more satellites for the Beidou network this year and a global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with more than 30 orbiters, the statement said.
Monday's mission marked the 160th flight of China's Long March series of carrier rockets.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2012)