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Long March 5

China launches first heavy-lift rocket

BEIJING: China launched its most powerful rocket ever on Thursday, state media said, as the country presses on with a program which has seen it become a major space power. The Long March 5 rocket can carry up to 25 tons -- around the same weight as 16 cars -- into low earth orbit (LEO), state-run China Radio International said. By contrast the US's Saturn V, which delivered astronauts to the moon in 1969, was designed to deliver some 154 tons of payload to LEO. The Chinese rocket launched from the recently built…