Rocket scientists reach for the sky
Updated: 2016-10-07 07:41
By Zhao Lei(China Daily)
Major Long March rockets in service
Long March 2C
Blast-off date: September 1982. Mainly used to launch satellites into low and sun-synchronous orbit.
Long March 2F: November 1999. Primarily to launch Shenzhou manned spacecraft and Tiangong space laboratories.
Long March 3B: August 1997. Mostly to launch satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.
Long March 4B: May 1999. To place satellites into sun-synchronous orbit.
Long March 6: September 2015. Again, mostly to place satellites in sun-synchronous orbit.
Long March 7: June 2016. This rocket will be used for nearly 80 percent of China's space launches in the future.
China's manned space activities:
Shenzhou V mission: Launched on Oct 15, 2003, lasting 21 hours. China's first manned space mission.
Shenzhou VI mission: Launched on Oct 12, 2005, lasting nearly 5 days.
Shenzhou VII mission: Launched on Sept 25, 2008, lasting nearly 3 days. China's first extra-vehicular mission.
Tiangong I mission: Launched on Sept 29, 2011, lasting more than two years. China's first space laboratory.
Shenzhou IX mission: Launched on June 16, 2012, lasting nearly 13 days. China's first space docking.
Shenzhou X mission: Launched on June 11, 2013, lasting nearly 15 days. The longest stay in space by Chinese astronauts.
Tiangong II mission: Launched on Sept 15, 2016, will last two years. China's second space laboratory.