The powerful new Chinese rocket designed to launch space station modules and Mars probes for the country has arrived at the southern port serving its launch site.
The Long March-5 rocket reached Qinglan Port in Wenchang, Hainan Province, after a six-day journey at sea. Specially-designed cargo ships ferried the rocket – which has a diameter of five meters, 3.35 meters thicker than its predecessors – from Tianjin in north China.
The first rocket in the Long March-5 series will now be sent to the Wenchang satellite launch center in parts. Over the next two months, the center will assemble it and run a series of tests.
The rocket will be transported to the launching area in late October and stand ready for launching in November. Future uses for the Long March-5 will include a robotic mission designed to land on the lunar surface and send samples back to Earth in 2017, and a Mars mission scheduled for 2020.
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