China Lofts Pair of Beidou Navigation Satellites

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China launched a pair of Beidou-2 global positioning and navigation satellites April 29 aboard a Long March 3B rocket in a predawn liftoff from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province.

The launch marked the first time China has boosted two Beidou satellites to orbit on a single rocket, according to China’s Xinhua state-run news service.

China plans to launch three more Beidou satellites this year and complete the constellation of 30-plus satellites by 2020.