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China debuts new upper stage in final launch of the year


China debuts new upper stage in final launch of the year
A Chinese Long March 2D booster climbed into orbit from the Jiuquan space base in the northwest of the country Saturday, delivering seven small satellites to space on communications and weather research missions with the help of a new upper stage capable of firing more than 20 times over two days. With more than 650,000 pounds of thrust, the liquid-fueled Long March 2D rocket took off at 0800 GMT (3 a.m. EST; 4 p.m. Beijing time) Saturday from Jiuquan, a remote military base in the Gobi Desert. Heading toward the southeast, the Long March 2D’s two main stages fired before giving way to a new upper stage to maneuver the mission’s six payloads into two distinct orbits.   More



(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 31)

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