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New rocket series to cover a spectrum of missions


08-27-2016 05:18 BJT

The Long March 5 rocket is part of a new line that will replace the country’s current and older rocket series. Operated alongside are the medium-lift Long March 7, and the light capacity Long March-6.

These rockets will cover a spectrum of launches, like space station missions, standard satellite launches, and the delivery of heavy geostationary satellites. This new series marks a major shift in rocket technology as China looks to phase out older vehicles, including the Long March 2, 3 and 4.

The new rockets make use of a modular design, and share common components as a cost-saving and simplification measure. It allows for a quick build-up, and a streamlined production to support an ever growing number of missions. A couple of big launches to look forward to this year. China's second orbiting space lab, the Tiangong-2, is scheduled for launch later in September. And in October, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft and its crew will dock with the Tiangong-2.

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