Rocket launch marks huge step in constructing China’s lunar infrastructure

A Long March 8 rocket, standing 165 feet (50 meters) tall, rolled out of its assembly building to its launch pad Sunday at the Wenchang Space Launch Site.

Enlarge / A Lengthy March Eight rocket, standing 165 ft (50 meters) tall, rolled out of its meeting constructing to its launch pad Sunday on the Wenchang House Launch Web site. (credit score: Luo Yunfei/China Information Service/VCG by way of Getty Photographs)

The following part of China’s Moon program begins with the launch of a brand new knowledge relay satellite tv for pc Monday to hyperlink lunar landers and rovers on the far facet of the Moon with floor controllers again on Earth.

This launch, set for about 8:31 pm EDT (00:31 UTC), will ship China’s Queqiao-2 relay spacecraft towards the Moon, the place it should enter an elliptical orbit and place itself for the arrival of China’s subsequent robotic lunar lander, Chang’e 6, later this 12 months.

A medium-lift Lengthy March Eight rocket will carry the Queqiao-2 spacecraft aloft from the Wenchang launch base, situated on Hainan Island in southern China. This would be the third flight of the kerosene-fueled Lengthy March 8, one in all a brand new era of Chinese language rockets designed to interchange older Lengthy March launcher designs burning poisonous propellant.

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