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China launches spacecraft via largest carrier rocket

by Rahul Chauhan
1 minutes read

China successfully launched its largest launch vehicle on Tuesday, which was carrying a new-generation spacecraft, state broadcaster CCTV said. The Long March-5B launcher took off at 1800 local time (1000 GMT) at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern island province of Hainan. It was the first mission conducted by the Long March-5B, CCTV reported, citing the China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The Long March-5B – about 53.7 meters long and with a takeoff mass of about 849 tons – also had an inflatable cargo return module. China said in March it planned to launch an experimental unmanned spacecraft as part of a broader spaceflight program to take astronauts to its future space station and for future human space exploration. The launch was previously scheduled for mid to late April.

China plans to complete an inhabited multi-module space station by 2022. It became the third country to place a man in space with his own rocket in 2003 after the former Soviet Union and the United States. China has since raced to overtake Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030.

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