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China launches dark matter satellite

December 17, 2015, 9:28 UTC+3 BEIJING
The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) satellite will enter a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 500 km to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space
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© NASA

BEIJING, December 17. /TASS/. China launched on Thursday the first national satellite to study the dark matter. The launch was made on Changzheng-2D carrier from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gansu province, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) satellite will enter a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 500 km to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space.

For the first two years, the apparatus will study the entire space, and then will focus on the segments, where, as scientists suppose, monitoring the dark matter would be most probable.

Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the universe. The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, on radiation, and on the large-scale structure of the universe. Dark matter has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics.

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