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First new generation rocket blasts off in Taiyuan

A new generation carrier rocket, the Long March 6, has successfully blasted off in Taiyuan. The rocket is one of the most environmentally friendly ever launched by China.

A new generation of carrier rocket, sending 20 satellites into the orbit with one shot, a record high number for China.

“The success of this experimental debut flight is conducive for examining whether we have made breakthroughs in key technologies like the rocket’s high thrust, high reliability, and ensuring it is toxin and pollutant free. This is a substantial leap forward in technology and our overall level of capacity,” said Li Chenggang, Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation.

A variety of new materials and techniques feature in the Long March 6. The rocket’s greatest feature is its environmental friendliness. The engine uses liquefied oxygen and diesel.

“After the combustion of oxygen and diesel, you get carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. This won’t pollute the environment,” said Wang Jianshe of Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation.

And the engine is also more efficient, giving a major boost to the rocket’s thrust.

“Compared to average engines, the capacity has improved a lot, eight percent better. The average thrust is 75 tons, this one is 120 tons,” Wang said.

The 20 satellites sent to the orbit are experimental small satellites to do testing work for other aerospace products, and will also explore the space environment.

In China’s new generation of rockets, the biggest sized one is the Long March Five. These have a diameter of 5 meters, and are more than 20 stories high. The rockets are big enough to send 16 small cars into the space. And a bit smaller is the Long March 7, which is used for sending freight into space.

Both of the two types of rockets have been completed, and their debut flights will take place next year.