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China takes step toward space station with new rocket launch

(CNN)China's latest large carrier rocket made its first successful flight Tuesday, an important step in the nation's plan to build a space station, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.The Long March-5B rocket blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan province, sending an unmanned prototype spacecraft and a cargo return capsule successfully into orbit.The new rocket model is a variant of the Long March-5 and can carry larger payloads -- up to 22 tonnes into low-Earth orbit.It was designed to carry space station modules into orbit, said Wang Jue, chief director of the rocket development team at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).It measures around 53.7 meters in length, reports Xinhua, ...
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