First published: January 4, 2017, 10:59 AM IST | Updated: 1 mins ago
Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong blasts off from the launchpad in Jiuquan, China, October 17, 2016. (Image: REUTERS)
China plans to conduct some 30 space launch missions in 2017, a record-breaking number in the country’s space history, said China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
Long March-5 and Long March-7 rockets would be used to carry out most of the space missions, the China News Service reported.
Long March-5 is China’s largest carrier rocket. The successful test launch of the vehicle in November in Hainan would pave the way for space station construction, analysts said.
Also Read: SpaceX to Try New Launch on Sunday
Wang Yu, general director of the Long March-5 program, said 2017 is a critical year for China’s new generation of carrier rockets and the Long March-5 rockets would carry Chang’e-5 probe to space.
The probe would land on the moon, collect samples and return to Earth.
Also Read: Newly Launched BHIM App is Not Free; Here is Why?
On the other hand, Long March-7, the more powerful version of Long March-2, would send China’s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 into the space in the first half of 2017, according to Wang Zhaoyao, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.
Tianzhou-1 was expected to dock with Tiangong-2 space lab and conduct experiments on propellant supplement, People’s Daily reported.
Also Read: Apple iPhone 6 Selling For as Low as Rs 9,990 on Flipkart Under Exchange Offer
China conducted 22 launch missions in 2016 and 19 in 2015. The country successfully tested its Long March-7 rocket in June 2016, and has gradually shifted to new generation rockets that reduce the use of toxic rocket fuels.