China's New Rocket Makes Its First Flight
A new Chinese carrier rocket made its first flight on Tuesday under a long-term plan to develop reusable launch vehicles aimed at reducing mission costs and speed up launch schedules for commercial clients.
The medium-lift Long March 8 Y-1 blasted off at 12:37 p.m. (0437 GMT) from the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying five satellites, state media reported.
China plans to develop reusable rockets under the Long March 8 series in the coming years, similar to the Falcon range already produced by U.S. private aerospace firm SpaceX.
China will develop its first VTVL vehicle around 2025, an official at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the country’s main space contractor, told a local conference in November.
The Long March 9 Y-1 launch wrapped up a hectic year for China’s space programme.
Around 2022, China aims to complete a multi-module, inhabited space station.
By 2045, it hopes to establish a programme operating thousands of flights a year and carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of cargo and passengers./Reuters
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