US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — China successfully launched a new rocket and experimental spacecraft on Tuesday, state media reported. This was a serious test of the country’s ambitions to create and operate a permanent space station and send astronauts to the moon.
The Long March 5B rocket took off from the Wenchang cosmodrome on Hainan Island, and eight minutes later, the unmanned prototype spacecraft successfully detached and entered the planned orbit, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xinhua added that the test version of the capsule for the crew also successfully separated from the rocket.
This spaceship will one day deliver astronauts to a space station, which China plans to complete by 2022, and ultimately to the moon.
It will accommodate up to six people.
The capsule will have to return by Friday after the completion of the test flight. This was announced at a press conference by a representative of the Chinese manned space agency, Ji Jimin.
Zhang Xueyu, the chief of staff of the flight mission, said the launch “strengthened confidence and determination” for the next phases of the Chinese space program.
So far, the United States is the only country that successfully sent people to the moon, but Beijing has made tremendous strides in trying to catch up by sending astronauts into space, satellites in orbit, and a rover to the far side of the moon.
Contact us: [email protected]