BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Long March-5B carrier rocket is scheduled to make its maiden flight in the first half of 2020, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).
The "ChinaSat 6C" satellite is launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, March 10, 2019. (Xinhua)
As a new generation of carrier rocket, the Long March-5B has the largest carrying capacity to low-Earth orbit. It will carry the core capsule and experiment capsules of China's space station.
China's Tiangong Space Station is mainly comprised of Core Capsule, Experiment Capsule I and Experiment Capsule II, with the aim of building a reliable operating space station and providing long-term support for the onboard astronauts.
The space station project will be implemented in three phases: key technology validation, construction and operation. Six flight missions, including the maiden flight of the Long March-5B rocket and launch of the test core capsule, have been scheduled in the first phase, and launches of experiment capsules in the second phase.