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China Says It Will Collaborate With Europeans on Satellites

December 28, 2003|From Associated Press

BEIJING — China announced Saturday that it would launch a research satellite in the coming week with the European Space Agency to study Earth's magnetic fields.

The launch of Probe No. 1 is to take place Tuesday or Wednesday aboard a Chinese-made Long March 2C-SM rocket, the National Space Administration of China said.

The satellite is to be part of a pair called "Double Star" that is the first joint project between China and the European Space Agency.

It is to carry instruments developed by the ESA and Chinese scientists, the space agency said. The second satellite is scheduled to be launched next year.

China said earlier that the satellite would be its highest-flying to date, reaching an orbit of 340 miles to 41,500 miles from Earth.

China has been firing satellites into orbit since 1970, and on Oct. 15 launched its first manned space capsule.

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