China launches medium-lift Long March-7A carrier rocket


China launched its Long March-7A Y2 carrier rocket on Friday from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's island province of Hainan. - Xinhua

WENCHANG, Hainan, March 12 (Xinhua): China launched its Long March-7A Y2 carrier rocket on Friday from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's island province of Hainan.

The rocket blasted off at 1:51 a.m. (Beijing Time) from the launch site, sending an experimental satellite into the planned orbit.

The satellite will be mainly used for in-orbit tests of new technologies including space environment monitoring.

A modified version of the Long March-7 rocket, the launch vehicle represents the new generation of China's medium-sized high-orbit rocket. It has a carrying capacity of at least 7 tonnes for the geosynchronous orbit.

This was the 362nd flight mission of the Long March rocket series.

Meanwhile, the crewmembers who will participate in the construction of China's space station have been selected and are being trained for their missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The construction of the space station has entered a crucial stage, said the CMSA, noting that this year will see several space missions including the launch of the station's core module, cargo replenishment, and a manned flight, which will be carried out one after another.

China aims to complete the construction of its space station by around 2022. During the construction, China plans to launch four Shenzhou manned spaceships and four Tianzhou cargo spacecraft to transport astronauts and supplement materials. - Xinhua
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