At 18:00 today, China's Long March 5B carrier rocket made its maiden flight, according to CCTV.
The rocket, carrying a new generation of manned spacecraft test vessel and a flexible inflatable cargo return module test capsule, was lit up at China's Wenchang Space Launch Complex.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said that the Long March 5B carrier rocket ignited into the air and sent a combination of new-generation manned spacecraft test vessels and other payloads into the scheduled orbit.
This realization of the space station phase of the first successful mission kicked off China's manned space engineering "third step" mission.
The Long March 5B launch vehicle is mainly used for large spacecraft launch missions in near-Earth orbit, such as space station segments, and is a new type of rocket developed on the basis of the Long March 5 launch vehicle.
It has newly developed a large fairing and adapted the full arrow to the space station mission requirements.
The rocket is approximately 53.7 meters long, with a core stage of 5 meters in diameter, four 3.35-meter diameter boosters strapped together, and a fairing 20.5 meters long and 5.2 meters in diameter.
It uses non-toxic and non-polluting liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and kerosene as propellants have a take-off mass of about 849 tons and a launch capacity of not less than 22 tons in NEO.
China's new generation of manned spacecraft will combine both near-Earth orbit missions and deeper space exploration.
The research team used new heat-resistant materials and heat-resistant structures, with a heat resistance equivalent to 3 to 4 times that of the Shenzhou spacecraft.
The return re-entry control also ensures that the drop point is accurate, and the overload does not exceed the astronaut's tolerance range.
The launch will also validate the safer "cluster parachute + airbag" landing method and related technology for the reusability of the spacecraft.
The new generation of manned spacecraft will strive to achieve a return module that can be reused 10 times and gradually reduce costs.