China launches new carrier rocket: state media

June 25, 2016

China blasted off its "Long March-7" new generation carrier rocket on a successful inaugural voyage Saturday from a new launch centre, state media reported, as the country races ahead with an ambitious space programme.

The medium-sized, two-stage rocket is expected to become the main carrier for China's future missions.

It can carry up to 13.5 tonnes to low-Earth orbit—a payload one and a half times greater than those of China's existing rockets.

"The more our rockets can lift, the farther we can venture into space," Ma Zhonghui, the rocket's chief designer told the official Xinhua news agency.

"Long March-7's successful maiden flight will greatly lift up China's comprehensive space capacity, and give the country a hefty boost in building itself into a space power," he added.

Its re-entry module is scheduled to return to Earth at a desert in Inner Mongolia Sunday afternoon after orbiting the planet 13 times.

The launch was the first to be held at a new space launch centre in Wenchang, a city in the southern province of Hainan.

Completed in 2014, it is China's fourth such facility.

China plans to its largest carrier , the Long March-5, from the same site later this year, a senior space program official told Xinhua.

The country launched its first manned spaceflight in 2003, and hopes to operate its own space station by around 2022, according to the agency.

Explore further: China launches new type of carrier rocket: state media

Related Stories

China launches new type of carrier rocket: state media

September 19, 2015

China on Sunday launched a new, smaller type of rocket from its "Long March" family which will be primarily used for carrying satellites aloft, state media reported, as the country races ahead with an ambitious space programme.

China plans more than 20 space launches in 2016

January 12, 2016

China has announced its busy 2016 launch manifest, with more than 20 missions scheduled for this year. The country that conducted 19 successful space flights in 2015, intends to launch its Tiangong 2 space laboratory and ...

Recommended for you

Astronaut and moonwalker Alan Bean dies at 86

May 26, 2018

Former Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the moon and later turned to painting to chronicle the moon landings on canvas, has died. He was 86.

APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness

May 25, 2018

The 12 m radio telescope APEX in Chile has been outfitted with special equipment including broad bandwidth recorders and a stable hydrogen maser clock for performing joint interferometric observations with other telescopes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.