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China successfully launches the world’s first space rocket powered by methane fuel

China successfully launches the world’s first space rocket powered by methane fuel

China successfully launches the world’s first space rocket powered by methane fuel
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  • Chinese company successfully launches world’s first methane-liquid oxygen rocket into orbit.
  • Rocket named Zhuque-2 took off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
  • China takes lead over US rivals in developing carrier vehicles powered by methane.
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A Chinese company achieved a significant milestone on Wednesday by successfully launching the world’s first methane-liquid oxygen rocket into orbit, surpassing competition from the United States in the development of advanced space launch vehicles.

Named Zhuque-2, the rocket was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 9 am (0100 GMT). State media reported that the launch went as planned and the rocket completed its flight successfully.

This launch was the second attempt by LandSpace, a Beijing-based company involved in China’s commercial launch industry, to launch the Zhuque-2. Their first attempt in December was not successful.

China’s successful launch of the Zhuque-2 rocket puts it ahead of its US counterparts, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, in the race to develop methane-powered carrier vehicles. Methane is considered a cleaner, safer, and more cost-effective propellant option for reusable rockets.

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