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China launches new twin BeiDou navigation satellites

XICHANG, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- China on Saturday successfully sent twin BeiDou navigation satellites into space on a single carrier rocket.

The Long March-3B carrier rocket lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 7:52 a.m.. It was the 283rd mission of the Long March rocket series, said a source of the launch center.

The twin satellites entered orbit more than three hours after the launch. After a series of tests, they will work together with 10 other BeiDou-3 satellites already in orbit.

The twin satellites were developed by the Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper, the BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.

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