China Launches Next-G Spacecraft
Exploring Space for Signs of Life
China just launched its largest rocket, carrying a next generation spacecraft
onboard. The Long March-5B rocket carrier took off this morning from
the Wenchang Space Center in the southern island province of Hainan. The
rocket is massive: 54 meters long and has a takeoff weight of 849 tons.
Life in Outer Space
China has big space ambitions and plans. It wants to equal the US and Russia
as a space power by 2030. The experimental spacecraft is part of China's
efforts to shuttle astronauts to its future space station for manned space
exploration. A big component of the exploration is searching for life in
outer space. Chinese space officials have explicitly stated that they are
deploying massive technologies to find what they call "new civilizations with
superior technology" in space. China expects to have a multi-module space
station for astronauts/space explorers by 2022.