The rocket was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Site in China’s southern Hainan Province. Photos from the scene show crowds with tents at a distance, waiting to see the liftoff.
According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the rocket took the Shiyan-9 satellite to test new technologies such as space environment monitoring.
CASC built the experimental satellite in just eight months, setting a record for mid-to-large remote sensing satellites, the state-owned space contractor said.
The Long March 7A is a three booster rocket with four boosters measuring 197 ft (60.1 m) in length and 11 ft (3.35 m) in diameter. It has the capacity to send seven metric tons of payload into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) – about 22,000 miles (35,405 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.
The rocket is designed to be launched primarily at GSO, which is likely to be upgraded in future moon, Mars and asteroid exploration, according to CASC.
China’s first attempt to launch the Long March 7A in March 2020 suffered a launch failure at the Wenchang space launch site. At the time, Chinese officials said engineers would investigate the cause of the failure, without any further details.
According to the CASC, China expects to launch three to five Long March 7A rockets every year before 2025.
China has an ambitious space program, which invests billions of dollars in government investment. In recent months, the country has launched both lunar and Mars missions.
In July 2020, China launched its first unmanned mission to Mars – Tianwen-1 probe, which orbited the red planet in February this year. And in December 2020, China’s unmanned Chang’i mission brought lunar samples back to Earth – making it only the third country to successfully collect rocks from the moon.
CNN’s Yong Xiong contributed to this report.