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China’s fastest rocket carries deep space dream

SpaceDaily.com reports: “A Long March-5 rocket blasted off Thursday at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province, carrying the country’s Mars probe, Tianwen-1.

It is the first time that the Long March-5 carrier rocket, currently China’s largest launch vehicle, is put into practical use after a series of trial launches.

It is also the first time the Long March-5 exceeded the second cosmic velocity, the fastest China’s carrier rockets have gone to date, said Li Dong, the rocket’s chief designer at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT).

The rocket did not separate from Tianwen-1 until it accelerated to over 11.2 km per second, the second cosmic velocity or escape velocity. At that speed, Tianwen-1 went into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit, overcoming the gravitational pull of Earth and embarking on an interplanetary journey, Li explained…”

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