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China Launches Long March-5 Rocket; Largest Carrier Rocket of the Country

China Launches Long March-5 Rocket; Largest Carrier Rocket of the Country

China has launched the largest carrier rocket of the country, the third long March-5 from Wenchang Space Launch Centre in China’s Hainan Province on Friday Evening. The rocket named the Long March-5 Y3, blasted off from the coastal launch center at 8:45 pm (Beijing Time) with the Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite weighing around eight tonnes, making it the heaviest and most advanced communications satellite of the country.

2,220 seconds later, the satellite was sent into its planned orbit. The Long March-5 is a large, two-stage rocket carrying a payload of twenty-five tonnes equalling to the weight of sixteen cars, to low Earth orbit, 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, eight tonnes to Earth-Moon transfer orbit or five tonnes to Earth-Mars transfer orbit, with over twice the capacity of the existing Long March series rockets.

The rocket, combined with an upper stage, is capable of sending probes to explore Jupiter and other planets in the solar system, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The Long March-5 is about 57 meters long, equivalent to the height of a twenty-story building with a five-meter diameter core stage and four 3.35 meter diameter boosters.

The rocket is much larger than China’s previous carrier rockets. It has a take-off weight of about 870 tonnes and thrust of over a thousand tonnes.


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