China launched its Long March 5 rocket again today. The launch today was a success, placing its payload on a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The
payload is a communications sat.
The launch was a return to flight after a launch failure in 2017. In July of that year, the rocket suffered a failure during the second attempted
launch. This has caused a crimp in Chinese space plans.
The Long March 5 is the most powerful rocket in the Chinese launcher inventory at current and is planned for several missions. Among them are the
Mars missions in mid 2020; some lunar missions including one to the lunar south pole and a sample return; and to launch the Chinese space station
modules. Had the launch been unsuccessful, the Mars missions would have been postponed by another 2 years and change. The space station would have
also been delayed again along with the lunar missions.
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