China inaugurates space centre with launch of new carrier rocket

China inaugurated a new space centre on Saturday with the successful launch of a new generation of carrier rocket into space, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The new space center on the Chinese island of Hainan in the South China Sea, is the country's fourth spaceport and is expected to allow China to build larger rockets which can be delivered on ships rather than trains.

Thousands of people gathered in the island's city of Wenchang to watch the launch of the 53.1-meter-long, 597-ton Long March 7 rocket, named after a military maneuver that led to the rise of Chairman Mao Zedung.

The launch is one of many expeditions planned by China's Space Program in the coming years.

China plans to launch two astronauts as well as a laboratory named Tiangong 2 (Heaven's Palace) into space later this year. They are also working to launch the core module of a space station in 2018 with a goal of completing it by 2022.

If the International Space Station, which is currently set to stay in orbit until 2024, is brought back to earth, China would be the only country with a permanent post in outer space.

China also aims to carry out a manned moon landing by 2024 and a probe landing on Mars in 2021.

Last update: Sat, 25/06/2016 - 17:46
Author: 

More from Science & Tech

India launches record 104 satellites in single mission

India's space agency launched 104 satellites, including 101 foreign payloads into orbit on Wednesday, setting a new...

Swedish court orders internet provider to block Pirate Bay

A Swedish appellate court Monday ordered an internet service provider to block customers from accessing the...

Irish court hears challenge to Facebook's EU data transfer to US

A case that could settle whether Facebook can continue to send EU citizens' data to the United States should be...

Uber, Grab private-hire drivers must now be licensed in Singapore

Drivers from private-hire car operators such as Uber and Grab must now apply for a vocational licence to continue...

Airbnb up in arms as Singapore enforces ban on short-term rentals

Airbnb believes new laws by the Singapore government to clamp down on short-term homestay rentals including forced...