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China Launches New Communications Satellite
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"Chinasat 6B," a French-made communications satellite, rocketed into space from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Thursday. 



The satellite was lifted by a Chinese Long March-3B carrier rocket which blasted off at 8:08 P.M. (Beijing Time) Thursday. It was the 101st launch mission for the Long March series of carrier rockets.


The satellite separated from the rocket 26 minutes after lift-off, entering its preset orbit.


"Chinasat 6B," manufactured by France's Alcatel Alenia Space, has a designed lifespan of 15 years.


Fitted with 38 transponders, the satellite is expected to improve telecommunications transmissions for Asia, the Pacific, and Oceania.


Last month, China launched "SinoSat-3," a communications satellite for radio and television broadcasting, with a Long March-3A carrier rocket, the 100th flight of the Long March series.



(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2007)

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