China this morning (22 December 2020) successfully launched its next-generation rocket system known as the Long March 8, Manufactured by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). Launching off into space for the first time from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province.
The Long March 8 will serve as China’s new medium-lift carrier rocket, having two-stages the rocket’s first stage is based on that of the Long March-7 rocket, while the second stage is based on the third stage of the Long March-3 rocket. The Long March 8 is over 50-meters-high and has a load capacity between 2.8 and 5 tonnes.
Built for international commercial space launches and is expected to fill a gap in launch capabilities for low- and medium-orbit satellites to Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) and geosynchronous transfer orbits. In the future, China plans for the Long March 8 to have a reusable design which will significantly reduce costs and its launch cycle. The launch cycle aimed for future Long March-8 rocket is 10 days.