China successfully launches new spacecraft

James Marshall
May 5, 2020

This is the first launch for that new rocket, an iteration of China's Long March launcher that will also be used to take up the sections and components of the country's forthcoming national orbital space station.

China launched a newly designed spacecraft on Tuesday as part of its program to build an orbiting space station, furthering its aspirations to rival the U.S., Russian Federation and private companies in outer space exploration.

The rocket is capable of operating a permanent space station and send astronauts to the Moon, according to the country's Xinhua news agency.

China's new large carrier rocket Long March-5B made its maiden flight on Tuesday, sending the trial version of China's new-generation manned spaceship and a cargo return capsule for test into space.

The rocket will help carry the core module and experiment modules to China's space station.

Long March 5B is meant to someday transport astronauts to an area station that China plans to finish by 2022, and finally to the Moon. The launch was earlier scheduled for mid-to late April.

"China has caught up with the U.S. in some space areas like earth observation and navigation", Chen said.

Beijing has made huge strides in its effort catch up to the United States space programme, sending astronauts into space, satellites into orbit and a rover on the far side of the Moon.

"After the launch of the Long March-5, China will launch a series of 20-ton rockets, including the Long March-5, 6 and 7", Wang Xiaojun, commander-in-chief of the Long March-7, told the daily.

The capsule is reportedly an improvement on the Shenzhou capsule based on the former Soviet Union's Soyuz model and can carry six astronauts rather than just three.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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