China launched its new heavy-lift rocket Thursday, bringing the country closer to its goal of building its own space station.
The Long March 5 was launched from the Wenchang launch center on Hainan Island at 8:43 a.m. EDT, according to Chinese media reports.
Few details are available about the rocket’s mission, but reports suggest an experimental satellite called Shijian-17 was carried into orbit. The satellite has the capability to test electric-propulsion technology.
The launch is also a test of the rocket, which will be used to launch the modules that will make up the country’s space station. China hopes to have an operational space station by 2022.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense