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Long March 5 returns to flight
Posted: Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 1:43 PM ET (1843 GMT)
Long March 5 return to flight, Dec 2019 (Xinhua) China's Long March 5 returned to flight early Dec. 27. The rocket lifted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 7:45 am EST (1245 GMT), deploying the Shijian-20 experimental communications satellite into orbit 40 minutes later. The launch was the first for the heavy-lift rocket since a July 2017 launch failure. The rocket is a critical element of China's future space plans, with launches scheduled in mid-2020 of a Mars orbiter and lander, followed in late 2020 by a lunar sample return mission. A variant of the Long March 5 needed for launching space station modules will also be tested next year.
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