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People's Daily Online

China's new commercial rocket to debut in 2020

People's Daily Online

(Global Times) 14:01, November 21, 2019

China's new carrier rocket the Long March-8 has entered final assembly and test stages and is expected to make its maiden flight in 2020, the Global Times has learned from the developer - China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on Wednesday.

Tang Yihua, deputy head of the academy, made the announcement in a statement to the Global Times.

The new carrier rocket will fill a void in the Chinese space landscape in terms of sending payloads weighing between 3 and 4.5 tons to the Sun's synchronous orbit, as well as its capability to send cargo into low-earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit, which promises a bright future for the commercial launch market of the Long March-8.

It will take around 12 months from when a client signs a contract with the company to when the rocket is prepared for a mission. The launch window is around 10 days.

Tang predicted the rocket, after entering the market, will primarily carry out more than 10 launch missions a year and later on it will be able to undertake such missions more than 20 times per year.

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