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Chavez Says China to Launch Second Venezuelan Satellite in 2012

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said China will launch a second satellite for the South American nation before the end of the year after the two countries signed a $140 million contract in May.

The satellite, which is being built in China, should be in orbit in September or October this year, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza said today in comments broadcast on state television.

“Venezuela entered the space race,” Chavez said in the same broadcast. “One day Venezuela will arrive on Mars but China will do it first.”

The new satellite will be used for defense, health, agriculture and urban planning projects, Arreaza said.

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