Beijing: China Monday said it has completed a successful ground test on the power system of the country's next-generation carrier rocket for its ambitious space programme expected to begin early next year.
Scientists test-fired the engines of Long March-5, which uses non-toxic and no-polluting liquefied propellant, on a ground facility to test "coordination and reliability" of the power system, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said on Monday.
The Long March-5 rockets, designed for the final chapter of China's three-step - orbiting, landing and returning - lunar programme, and for the launches of future space stations will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit.
A test flight for Long March-5 has been scheduled in 2016 from China's Hainan province, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted SASTIND as saying.
SASTIND is a civilian ministry within the State Council, China's cabinet. It is a subordinate agency of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the superseding agency of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND).