China Conducts 1st Successful Space Launch From Floating Platform - Reports
BEIJING (Sputnik) - China carried out on Wednesday morning its first ever successful launch of the Chang Zheng 11 carrier rocket from a floating launch platform, local media reported.
The liftoff of the vehicle carrying seven spacecraft took place at the site located in the Yellow Sea at 12:06 p.m. local time (04:06 GMT), the China Central Television broadcaster reported.
Chang Zheng 11 is a small solid-fueled launch vehicle, consisting of four stages and designed as a carrier rocket that would be ready for launch at a short notice and easy to operate.
The carrier rocket's maiden flight took place in 2015, and a total of six launches have been carried so far, without taking into account Wednesday's flight.
China is not the first country to use an offshore platform for a space launch. A total of 36 launches of the Russian-Ukrainian Zenit-3SL rockets were carried out from the Odyssey platform in the Pacific Ocean in 1999-2014. Prior to that, the United States used the Italian San Marco platform in the Indian Ocean for the launches of its Scout rockets.
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