China Launches Ninth Orbiter for International Navigation

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China launched an orbiter into space Wednesday at around 5.45 am Beijing Time, as part of its satellite positioning and navigation network called Beidou (compass system), sources at the launch center announced. The orbiter, which was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, was boosted into a geostationary orbit by the Long March-3A carrier rocket. Beijing started developing its own satellite navigation system in 2000 to end reliance on the American Global Positioning System (GPS).