By Huang Guochang and An Puzhong
WENCHANG, Dec. 23 -- China’s new carrier rocket Long March-8 made its maiden flight at noon on December 22, sending five satellites into planned orbit from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site under the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.
Over the past year, the comprehensive test and launch capabilities of the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site have kept improving. A total of five major launch missions were completed throughout the year, including the launches of Long March-5B carrier rocket, Long March-8 rocket, Tianwen-1 Mars probe and Chang’e-5 probe.
In recent years, the launch site has built the largest and most advanced aerospace cryogenic refueling system in China, cultivated an experienced command team, formulated a set of effective management methods, and obtained the capabilities for parallel tests of rockets and spacecraft of multiple models.
Besides, it has also independently developed the control software for filling liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, making a series of breakthroughs in key technology development.