Long March-5 set to roll out for second mission
By CGTN's Guan Yang
Following the successful maiden launch in November last year, China's most powerful launch vehicle – the Long March-5 is all set for its second performance. 
After years of intense development to create a launch vehicle capable of orbiting heavy payload to geosynchronous and low Earth orbit, the mission is once again expected to set a keystone for the country’s ambitions for a space station and interplanetary exploration.
The officials confirmed on Saturday the rocket is set to blast off on July 2.  
The green light on fueling the rocket has been given by the command center. Once the fueling procedure kicks start, it means the whole mission is irreversible.
A media conference was held at Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. /CGTN Photo

A media conference was held at Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. /CGTN Photo

The rocket will carry Shijian-18 experimental communications satellite designed by China Academy of Space Technology. 
It was based on Dong Fang Hong-5 satellite bus powered with two deployable solar arrays and on-board batteries.
The Dong Fang Hong-5 is the next generation geostationary telecommunications satellite bus, designed to provide a high-capacity, long-endurance platform for TV broadcasts, voice and data communications, and regional mobile communications satellites.
During the mission, the new Shijian-18 satellite with seven metric tonnes in weight will operate on geosynchronous orbit and provide communications services over China's territory.  
The satellite's on-board transponders will also improve access to the Internet and allow to have more television channels for the public users.
Shijian-18 experimental communications satellite. /SASTIND Photo

Shijian-18 experimental communications satellite. /SASTIND Photo

Last year, China launched 23 satellites, the Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 manned space programs, with the debut of two new rocket families – Long March 5 and 7. The officials expects more for 2017.
They said the current year is intense for China's space activities as they take further steps towards a permanently inhabited space station, launch a complex mission to collect Moon samples, and aim for a national launch record.  
The current mission will be final for the Long March 5 rocket family before sending the Chang'e 5 lunar probe to the moon later this year. 

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