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China's 1st Space Exploration Satellite Gets Check-up
( 2003-07-18 14:17) (cctv.com)

The Double-star Program, the nation's first space exploration program, is getting the first of its two satellites ready for blast-off. Testing and adjustment began on the satellite and its attachments Thursday.

Scientists began a thorough examination of the eight instruments to make sure they function properly and respond to all satellite commands. If they get a clean bill of health, the components will be soon fixed onto the satellite.

Scientists will also simulate the entire process from blast-off to the separation of the rocket and the satellite. Other experiments, including environmental vibration and noise, will be carried out to check the instruments.

The final installation is scheduled for this November. The first satellite will be launched late this year and will go into orbit around the Equator. The second, to be sent into space next year, will travel around the polar orbit trajectory.

The Double-star Program is an international collaboration between the China National Space Administration and the European Space Agency. The program focuses on the study of the magnetosphere and the magnetic field surrounding Earth.

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