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China tests new carrier rocket’s power system

Updated: Feb 9,2015 9:00 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese scientists have completed a ground test on the power system of the country’s next-generation carrier rocket which may fly as early as next year.

Scientists test-fired the engines of Long March-5, which uses non-toxic and no-polluting liquefied propellant, on a ground facility to test “coordination and reliability” of the power system, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said on Feb 9.

The Long March-5 rockets, designed for the final chapter of China’s three-step — orbiting, landing and finally returning — lunar program, and for the launches of future space stations, will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit.

A test flight for Long March-5 has been scheduled in 2016 from China’s Hainan province, the SASTIND said.