Credit: New China

Credit: New China

China scored a big boost today in its space program activities.

The country’s Long March-5 lifted off from the newly completed Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, scoring high marks on its maiden flight.

Declared success

Wang Jingzhong, head of commanding center for Long March-5 launch, reported via CCTV-Plus:

“According to Xi’an Satellite Control Center, Long March-5 has been operating as planned. We have accurately sent the upper stages and the satellites into designated orbit. All systems are operating well. I now declare that the maiden flight of Long March-5 has been a successful mission!”

Long March-5 ready for first liftoff. Credit: CASC via GBTimes

Long March-5 ready for first liftoff.
Credit: CASC via GBTimes

Moon, space station booster

As China’s largest carrier rocket, Long March-5 is slated to carry the Chang’e-5 lunar probe into space around 2017. It also serves as key to the country’s future space station plans.

Long March-5 has expanded the diameter of liquid-fuel rockets to 5 meters from the previous 3.35 meters. The 57-meter-long rocket is equipped with four liftoff thrusters each with a diameter of 3.35 meters, and thus is powered with more than 1,000 tons of thrust force.

Credit: CCTV-Plus

Credit: CCTV-Plus

Using liquefied kerosene and very low-temperature or cryogenic liquefied oxygen and hydrogen as its fuels, Long March-5 is tagged as being non-toxic and pollution-free.

Liftoff of the Long March-5 marks the first use of the number 1 launch pad at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, which is China’s first launch center along the coast line.

The Long March-5 carrier rocket is scheduled to have a second launch in the middle 2017.



For a video of the launch, go to:


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