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New Heavy-lift Carrier Rocket Boosts China's Space Dream
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2016-11-09

WENCHANG, Hainan, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday launched its new heavy-lift carrier rocket Long March-5.

The rocket, which looked much "fatter" than other rockets of Long March series, blasted off at 8:43 p.m. Beijing Time from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province. The payload was sent into the preset orbit about 30 minutes later.

The major targets of the mission are to verify the design and performance of the new rocket and test the rocket's flight program, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the developer of Long March-5.

A congratulatory letter sent late Thursday night by the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission hailed the new rocket as the pinnacle of innovation in carrier rocket science and technology.

Its successful launch has propelled China to the forefront of the world in terms of rocket carrying capacity, and marks a milestone in China's transition from a major player in space to a major power in space, the letter said.