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China successfully tests new carrier rocket

Beijing- China has successfully tested the power system of a fifth generation carrier rocket scheduled for flight next year carrying twice the capacity of the payload by the present carrier.

Development of the rocket, the fifth-generation Long March-5 launch vehicle of the Long March family, has entered a “runoff” phase, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.a

The rocket will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, about twice the current capacity.

The would-be capacity will be equivalent to that of mainstream carrier rockets now in use around the world.

The rocket will serve the final chapter of China’s three-step – orbiting, landing and returning – lunar program and the building of manned space stations, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

The Long March rocket family has completed more than 200 missions since 1970, when a Long March-1 rocket sent China’s first satellite, Dong Fang Hong 1, or “the East is Red”, into Earth orbit.

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