In what will prove to be its most critical flight to date, China’s Chang Zheng 5 (or Long March 5, as it is known outside of China) rocket is ready for its third mission after two less-than-perfect previous flights.
A successful flight today would pave the way for three critical launches in 2020: a lunar flight, a Mars mission, and a human spacecraft test flight.
If all goes to plan, the Chang Zheng 5 will liftoff from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan, People’s Republic of China at 07:45 EST (12:45 UTC) on Friday, 27 December 2019 with the Shijian-20 test satellite bound for Geostationary Orbit.
Chang Zheng 5 rocket overview:
The Chang Zheng 5 is China’s heavy lift rocket – comparable in lift capacity to the Ariane 5, Delta IV Heavy, Falcon 9 and Proton-M rockets.
It has a single launch site at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern China.
The Chang Zheng 5 can take the following payload masses to the following destinations:
Low Earth Orbit (200 x 400 km orbit inclined 42°)
25,000 kg (55,115 lb)
Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO)
14,000 kg (30,864 lb)
Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI)
8,200 kg (18,077 lb)