Long March 5 engine test. Credit: CMSE/CCTV

Long March 5 engine test.

China rocket builders are reporting success in test firing engines for the Long March 5 booster. That launcher is tasked to further the Chinese space station program, as well as boost their future Moon exploration agenda.

China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) reported the major ground test of the engines last week.

The Long March 5 will have a payload capacity of 25 tons to low Earth orbit, or 14 tons to geostationary transfer orbit.

According to the China Manned Space Engineering Network, the engine test firing was the country’s largest undertaken to date and reached the longest test system-level of power.

The engines use non-toxic and non-polluting liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants.

SASTIND noted that the booster’s maiden flight has been scheduled in 2016 from China’s new launch center in Hainan province.

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