China’s heavy-elevate Long March 5 rocket is being prepared for its comeback flight at the Wenchang Area Launch Facility in south China’s Hainan Province.
The provider rocket, coded as Long March 5 Y3, is planned to launch around the end of December, following the China National Space Administration (CNSA). A LaunchStuff Twitter post suggests the liftoff as slated for December 27.
The launch will be the third-ever for the Long March 5, and the first since a July 2017 launch failed. An inquiry traced the cause of that accident to an issue with a first-stage engine.
In a new video by China Central Television (CCTV), CNSA deputy chief Wu Yanhua reports that engineers and scientists are convinced that the complete preparation for the forthcoming launch — whether in terms of know-how or quality assurance — has been accomplished.
“Next, we’ll fill it with fuel on the launching area and run some tests,” Wu said.
The Long March 5 booster is crucial for China’s future space station, in addition to its moon and Mars exploration missions.
“If the flight is profitable, will probably be tasked with a series of vital exploration missions including lifting off China’s first Mars probe, the Change 5 lunar probe, and a core module for the manned space station,” Wu stated.
A revised version of the rocket, the Long March-5B, will be used to build China’s space station.