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November 3, 2016
China has successfully conducted the maiden launch of its Long March-5 (Chang Zhen-5) rocket on Thursday, after years of intense development to create a launch vehicle capable of orbiting heavy payload to geosynchronous and low Earth orbit. The launch occurred at 12:43 UTC on Thursday after several holds.
China Long March 5 CZ-5 launch (Illustration)
The launch of Long March-5/YZ-2 (Y1) took place at the Wenchang Space Launch Centre’s LC101 dedicated Launch Complex.
This maiden launch carried the experimental Shijian-17 complex to the geostationary orbit. The new satellite will conduct experiments using ion propulsion for station keeping.
With the strongest carrying capacity in China, the rocket will receive functional examinations and further tests before launch.
Long March 5 (CZ-5) first launch
According to the SASTIND, the Long March-5 integrates top space technologies, including non-toxic environmentally-friendly fuel and a highly stable controlling system, representing a landmark in the country's carrier rockets.
The LM-5 launch vehicle is a heavy, cryogenic liquid launch vehicle newly developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Following the design principal of generalization, serialization and modularization, the LM-5 uses non-toxic and non-polluting propellants such as liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and kerosene, etc. The modularized design can reduce launch costs and improve reliability, possessing strong adaptability and competitiveness in the market.
Shijian based satellite
The payload capability of LM-5 is 25 tons for low Earth orbit (LEO), and 14 tons for Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), capable of launching different kinds of spacecraft, such as LEO, GTO and sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) satellites, space station and lunar probe, etc.
Images, Video, Text, Credits: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) / CAST / CCNTV.