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China puts satellite in orbit

Xichang, China -- China launched a Long March 3A carrier rocket Thursday, putting a communication satellite into orbit around the Earth, officials said.

The rocket was launched at 12:09 a.m. from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, Xinhua reported.

The "Zhongxing-20A" satellite is expected to improve China's radio and television broadcasts, officials at the launch center said in a statement.

It was the 135th launch of a Long March series rocket since April 24, 1970, the state-run news agency said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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