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China's Long March-5 Y2 carrier rocket leaves for launch site

TIANJIN, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Long March-5 Y2 carrier rocket departed northern China's Tianjin Port for the launch base in southern Hainan Monday.

Monday is also China's second Space Day, which was chosen to mark the anniversary of the country's first satellite launch Dongfanghong-1 in 1970.

Carried by special rocket-carrying ships, the rocket will arrive in Wenchang, Hainan Province, for the scheduled launching of the Shijian-18 communication satellite in June.

The Long March-5 Y3 carrier rocket is planned to carry the Chang'e-5 lunar probe in 2017.

As the country's strongest carrier rocket, the Long March-5 has a payload capacity of 25 tonnes in low Earth orbit and 14 tonnes in geostationary orbit. Its carrying capacity is about 2.5 times that of the current main model Long March carrier rockets.

The Long March-5 carrier rocket made its maiden flight in Wenchang on Nov. 3, 2016.

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