Long March-7 being assembled, to transport Tianzhou-1

Updated: 2016-10-31 14:02


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Long March-7 being assembled, to transport Tianzhou-1

The rocket, Long March 7, is launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan, China, on June 25, 2016 [Photo/Xinhua]

The components of another Long March-7 carrier rocket are being assembled and the rocket will be ready for the launch mission in February 2017, said Wang Xiaojun, chief commander of the Long March-7 program on Sunday.

Wang, who is in Zhuhai for the upcoming 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, said that the Long March-7 is China's new generation carrier rocket. Measuring 53.1 meters in length and 597 tonnes in weight, the Long March-7 is a medium-sized rocket that can lift up to 13.5 tonnes to low-Earth orbit.

He noted that the Long March-7 is scheduled to transport the Tianzhou-1 cargo ship next spring to autonomously dock with Tiangong-2 space lab. The launch of cargo ships are thought to be crucial for the assembly and maintenance of China's planned space stations, due to enter service around 2022.

The Long March-7 completed its successful maiden flight in June 2016 which laid a solid foundation for its future flights, added Wang.