20:47 GMT +323 January 2019
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    A Chinese national flag flutters in the wind in between a high-rise residential and office complex in Beijing, China. (File)

    China Test-Fires First Commercial Rocket

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - A private Chinese firm on Thursday carried out the nation's first launch of a commercial rocket that can put payload into the low-Earth orbit, local media reported.

    The OS-X Chongqing Liangjiang Star blasted off from a test site in northern China at 7:33 a.m. local time, the Chinese Central Television said. It followed a ballistic trajectory for 306 seconds.

    The nine-meter-long (30ft) spacecraft produced by OneSpace Technology is capable of flying as high as 800 kilometers (497 miles). The channel said it took a year to launch the rocket after it was designed.

    Earlier, senior Chinese rocket designer Long Lehao of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology revealed that China was developing its first medium-lift space rocket with a reusable first stage that could see its trial launch as early as 2020.


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