02 July, 2017
China is scheduled to launch the Long March-5 Y2, the country's second heavy-lift carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan Province Sunday, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence said Saturday.
China's largest ever rocket has a maximum payload capacity of 55,116 pounds to a low-Earth orbit.
The launch of Long March-5 Y2, which comes nearly a month after the launch of Long March-4B, is part of Beijing's multi-billion-dollar space programme. March-5 is reportedly created to carry space station components, communication satellites and deep-space probes into orbit. The rocket is reportedly capable of carrying up 25 tonnes.
The process of filling propellant into fuel tanks began Saturday afternoon, CGTN said. It should deliver the Shijian-18 communication satellite to the orbit, which might operate there up to 15 years in case of a successful launch. The Long March-5 made its maiden flight in November 2016 in Wenchang.
Last month it successfully launched the Long March-4B, its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts.