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Monday, February 11, 2019, 22:59
China improves rocket amid growing commercial launches
By Xinhua
Monday, February 11, 2019, 22:59 By Xinhua

In this Nov 21, 2017 photo, the Long March-6 rocket blasts off from Taiyuan Satellite Lauch Center in China’s Shanxi province. (PHOTO / IC VIA CHINADAILY.COM.CN)

BEIJING – China announced Monday that it is developing the modified version of the Long March-6 rocket to add four solid boosters to increase its carrying capacity.

Long March-6 completed two space tests in September 2015 and November 2017, carrying 20 satellites and three satellites respectively

The improved medium-left carrier rocket will be sent into space by 2020, according to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which designed the rocket.

The Long March-6 has been mainly used for the academy's commercial launches. The rocket completed two space tests in September 2015 and November 2017, carrying 20 satellites and three satellites respectively.

READ MORE: China's Long March-5 rocket to resume flight in July

The rocket is 29.3 meters long, with a launch weight of 103 tonnes. It has a carrying capacity of one tonne for sun-synchronous orbit.

Amid a growing demand for commercial launches, the rocket will further enhance its market competitiveness through technical improvements to provide easier, faster and more comprehensive services to users at home and abroad, said Ding Xiufeng, executive manager of the Long March-6 project.

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In January, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation signed a multiple launch services agreement with Satellogic to use the Long March-6 and the Long March-2 rockets to launch 90 satellites for the private Argentine company in the coming years.

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