ANKARA

Continuing its space buildup, China on Tuesday sent at least nine satellites into space, official media said.

The satellites from the Jilin-1 Gaofen 03-1 group took off from the Yellow Sea at 9:23 am (0123 GMT), Xinhua News reported.

The indigenously-built Long March-11 carrier rocket was used for the launch, a first from the sea.

Last week, China sent an observation satellite, Gaofen-11 02, into the orbit through a Long March-4B carrier rocket. It will be used for mapping efforts in China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

With its expanded space work including the launch of satellites, China is closer to completing its own space station.

It plans to inaugurate its large modular space station this year, which will be placed into low orbit.

It will be roughly one-fifth of the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.

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