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China launches new-generation satellite into space

Boosted by a Long March 3C carrier rocket, the satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest Sichuan province on March 31.

The launch center said the satellite will be testing a new type of navigation signaling and inter-satellite links, providing a basis to build up a global network.

This is the first time China has used a shuttle-like craft attached to the launch rocket to set a satellite in orbit. The shuttle is capable of deploying more than one satellite into different orbits in space.

China launched the first BeiDou Navigation Satellite system in 2000. The Beidou system has been providing positioning, navigation and short messaging services to civilian users in China and surrounding areas in the Asia-Pacific.