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China launches pulsar navigation satellite

China today successfully launched a navigation satellite which will conduct in-orbit experiments
using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. 
●    The X-ray pulsar navigation satellite — XPNAV-1 — weighing more than 200 kilogrammes, was sent skyward at 7:42 AM (local time) at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest.
●    The satellite operates in a Sun-synchronous orbit and will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. 
●    It was carried by a Long March-11 rocket, the 239th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket series.
●    While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability. 
●    It weighs more than 200 kilogrammes and carries two detectors.
●    The satellite and the rocket were designed by academies affiliated with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 
●    The X-ray pulsar navigation will help reduce the spacecraft’s reliance on ground-based navigation methods and is expected to lead to autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

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