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China's new-generation rocket seeks approval
Updated: 2004-09-17 10:47

China's space program is expecting government approval this year to build a new and more powerful rocket that will serve as the nation's vehicle to explore the moon.

Luan Enjie, director-in-chief of China's lunar exploration program, says the new-generation carrier rocket will be developed over the next eight years, China Radio International reported Friday.

It will use environmentally-friendly and non-toxic fuel, such as liquefied hydrogen and oxygen propellants.

The new rocket is also expected to compete for satellite-launching business with a carrying capacity of up to 25 tons for low-orbit missions and 14 tons for higher-orbit missions.

China's current "Long March" rockets have a capacity of 12 tons for launch into the low earth orbit and 5.2 tons for launch into the geosynchronous transfer orbit.

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