China's Long March carrier rocket embarks on 400th mission
A Long March-4B rocket on Friday morning successfully sent a new group of satellites into space, marking the 400th launch mission of the China-developed Long March carrier rocket series.
Since the first launch in 1970, the Long March carrier rocket series has carried out 92.1 percent of China's space launch mission, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), developer of the rocket series and also the leading force of the country's space industry.
Over the past 51 years, the Long March series has sent more than 700 spacecraft into space, said the CASC.
In the 400 launch missions by Long March rockets, the first three 100 launches were completed in 37 years, 7 and a half years, and around 4 years, respectively.
While the lastest 100 launch missions were carried out within only 33 months since March 2019.
Wu Yansheng, board chairman of the CASC, said that the high launch frequency of the Long March highlights China's enhanced space launch capacity and the self-reliant spirit of the country's aerospace workers.
China's first space station Tiangong's core module, Chang'e-5 lunar probe, Tianwen-1 Mars probe, Shenzhou manned spacecraft, Tianzhou cargo craft, BeiDou-3 navigation satellites, and multiple others, were all sent into space by the Long March rockets amid the latest 100 launch missions.
Meanwhile, the growing Long March series has been continuously providing new rocket members, such as the Long March-5B, Long March-7A, Long March-8, to better serve China's persistent space exploration.