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China launches two scientific satellites
BEIJING (AFP) Sep 09, 2004
Fledgling space power China Thursday launched a pair of satellites for a two-year scientific mission to probe radiation and its effects, state media reported.

The geo-environment satellites, atop a Long March 4B carrier rocket, blasted off early Thursday from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi province, the Xinhua news agency said.

Both successfully separated from the rocket 11 minutes after taking off.

With a life of at least two years, the satellites would be used to probe the space environment, radiation and its effects and other related space experiments, the agency said.

Beijing has launched six types of its SJ scientific experiment satellites since 1971.

China became the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union to achieve manned space flight in October last year, when astronaut Yang Liwei orbited the Earth 14 times.

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