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China’s new commercial rocket to debut in 2020

(Global Times)    14:01, November 21, 2019

A Long March-3B carrier rocket is launched, carrying the new BDS satellite, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.Photo: Liu Xu

China's new carrier rocket the Long March-8 has entered final assembly and test stages and is expected to make its maiden flight in 2020, the Global Times has learned from the developer - China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on Wednesday.

Tang Yihua, deputy head of the academy, made the announcement in a statement to the Global Times.

The new carrier rocket will fill a void in the Chinese space landscape in terms of sending payloads weighing between 3 and 4.5 tons to the Sun's synchronous orbit, as well as its capability to send cargo into low-earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit, which promises a bright future for the commercial launch market of the Long March-8.

It will take around 12 months from when a client signs a contract with the company to when the rocket is prepared for a mission. The launch window is around 10 days.

Tang predicted the rocket, after entering the market, will primarily carry out more than 10 launch missions a year and later on it will be able to undertake such missions more than 20 times per year.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Shi Xi, Bianji)

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