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China launches small satellite
Posted: Wed, Sep 25, 2013, 1:49 PM ET (1749 GMT)
A new small Chinese rocket launched a small Earth observing satellite on Wednesday. The rocket, called Kuaizhou, lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 12:37 am EDT (0437 GMT, 12:37 pm Beijing time) Wednesday and placed the Kuaizhou 1 satellite into orbit. Chinese media said the satellite would be used to monitor natural disasters. The launch, or the existence of the Kuaizhou rocket, had not been announced by China before the launch. Kuaizhou translates as "speedy vessel", leading some to speculate that the rocket is a rapid launch system of some kind, perhaps derived from solid-fuel ballistic missiles.
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