BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Sputnik) - China successfully test-launched its next-generation CZ-8 (Long March 8) medium-lift carrier rocket on Tuesday, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said.
"The first mission was a complete success," CASC said in a statement.
The rocket was launched at 12:37 local time (04:37 GMT) from the Wenchang spacecraft launch site, located in Hainan. The carrier delivered five satellites to orbit.
The CZ-8 runs on environment-friendly fuel. With its length estimated at 59.3 meters (3.25 feet) and its basic weight totaling 356 tonnes, it can deliver up to 4.5 tonnes of payload to a heliosynchronous orbit.
On 24 November, the Chang’e 5 lunar sample-return mission was successfully launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center in Wenchang, in China’s Hainan island province, using the Chinese heavy-lift launch vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5).
The Chang’e 5 spacecraft has successfully collected samples of lunar soil and docked with the orbital module, transferring the samples to the Earth-return capsule on 6 December.