China to Launch Long March 5 Rocket on Friday

China prepares to launch Long March-5 rocket
China prepares to launch Long March-5 rocket (Source: Xinhua)

The Chinese carrier rocket Long March-5 Y3 is set to be launched this week and has been transported to the launch area, Wenchang Space Launch Center, Hainan this past Saturday.

China’s first ever foray into space was in 2003 when the Long March 2F rocket successfully launched the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft, followed by the predecessor of the Long March 5 that unfortunately ended in failure in July 2017. An investigation revealed the cause to be a mishap with the first-stage engine.

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China’s third foray into space is slated for December 27th at Wenchang Space Launch Center inChina’s southern Hainan Province, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). In a recent appearance on China Central Television (CCTV) the CNSA deputy head Wu Yanhua further reiterated the technology and quality standards being up-to-par, citing the engineers and scientists who had worked on the rocket.

Wu is optimistic and further noted in his interview that “If the flight is successful, it will be tasked with a series of key missions including launching China’s first Mars probe, the Chang’e 5 lunar probe and a core module for the manned space station.”

A modified version of the rocket, the Long March-5B, will be used to construct China’s space station.