- According to a Chinese news services, the country will soon fly their Long March 6 – likely in the middle of this year. The Long March 6 rocket will utilize a newly developed 120 ton thrust engine. That booster is a high-speed response launch vehicle capable of placing a payload of about 1 metric ton into a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 700 kilometers.
- Additionally, China's Long March 7 and Long March 5 rockets are to make their first flights next year. The Long March 7 will be capable of sending payloads of 13.5 tons into low Earth orbits and of 5.5 tons into sun-synchronous orbits.
- Next year's maiden flight of the Long March 5, a heavy-lift rocket, is the booster that is to place the Tiangong 2 space laboratory into Earth orbit in 2016 for visits by Chinese space crews..The Tiangong space labs are viewed as building blocks to gain technical and operational expertise to construct a larger space station in the 2020s.
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