1st Navigation Positioning Satellite Put into Orbit

China successfully put its first home-made navigation positioning satellite, the Beidou Navigation Testing Satellite, into orbit early Tuesday with a Long March 3-A rocket.

The carrier rocket blasted off at 0:02 (Beijing time) from the Xichang Satellite Launching Center in Sichuan Province, southwest China.

The satellite was developed and built mainly by the Research Institute of Space Technology under the China Space Science and Technology Group.

To meet the demand for country's satellite navigation, China will establish its first generation of satellite navigation positioning system -- the Beidou Navigation System, an official said.

It will be an all-weather regional navigation system that provides satellite-guided information round the clock for such sectors as highway and railway transportation and seafaring.

The Beidou Navigation System, once built, will play a positive role in promoting China's national economic growth, said the official, adding that Monday's successful launching of the satellite has laid a solid foundation for the establishment of the system.

This is the 63rd flight for China's Long March series rockets and the 21st consecutive successful launch for the country's space industry since October 1996.

Cao Gangchuan, a member of the Central Military Commission and director of the General Armament Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, observed the launching process on site.

(Xinhua 10/31/2000)

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