Multiple Long March rockets to support China's space station construction

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China will use multiple types of Long March carrier rockets this year to support the construction of its space station, a senior rocket expert said Wednesday.

The Long March 5B rocket will be tasked with transporting the station's core module, the Long March 7 rocket will launch the cargo spacecraft and the Long March 2F will launch the manned spacecraft into space, said Jiang Jie, a rocket expert with China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

China will start the construction of its space station this year, including the launches of the core module, Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft, as well as Shenzhou-12 and Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft, said Jiang, who is also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

As the construction of the space station entails multiple docking missions, the rocket launch time should be precisely calculated, which is a challenge for the Long March 5B and Long March 7 rockets, Jiang added.

China is scheduled to complete the construction of the space station around 2022, and 12 flight missions have been planned. 

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