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COMMUNICATIONS

<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Hughes Satellite Destroyed in Rocket Explosion: A communications satellite made by the Los Angeles-based aerospace firm was destroyed when a Chinese Long March 2E rocket carrying the satellite exploded shortly after liftoff from the Xichang launching center in southwest China. The accident deals a heavy blow to China’s space ambitions and will disrupt the Asian programming plans of a number of major global broadcasters. Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. owned the Hughes HS 601 satellite, which was to have carried programming by Turner Broadcasting Systems, Viacom, the Discovery Channel, ESPN and Home Box Office Asia. Hughes said the cause of explosion had not yet been determined.


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