Beijing: In a first, China on Wednesday successfully launched a rocket from a sailing ship into space, showcasing its prowess in the field. A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket blasted off at 12.06 p.m. from the mobile platform in the Yellow Sea off Shandong Province, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
It is China's first space launch from a sea-based platform and the 306th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series, the state-owned news outlet said. China has spent billions of dollars on space technology and aims to become a dominant superpower by 2030.
The Long March-11 can carry small satellites and can take multiple satellites into orbit at the same time. The rocket carried two technology experiment satellites and five commercial satellites into space.
"The seaborne launch technology will meet the growing launch demand of low inclination satellites and help China provide launch services for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative," experts were quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The two satellites are expected to step up all-weather monitoring of ocean wind fields, improve typhoon monitoring and accuracy of the weather forecast in China.