China has for the first time launched a rocket from a mobile platform in the Yellow Sea, sending five commercial satellites and two others containing experimental technology into space.
The Long March 11 rocket blasted off yesterday off the coast of Shandong province, marking the 306th launch of a rocket in the Long March series, but the first time one has occurred at sea.
Sea launches offer advantages such as the ability to position closer to the equator, requiring less fuel to reach orbit and thereby lowering overall launch costs. They also reduce the possibility of damage on the ground from falling rocket debris.
The official Xinhua News Agency cited experts saying seaborne launch technology will meet the growing demand for launches of low inclination satellites.