Chinese space scientists are hoping to win government approval this year to begin building the country's most powerful rocket to date, state media reported. The new rocket would be used to kick-off China's program of lunar exploration, as well as offering new services in the commercial satellite launch business. Expected to take eight years to develop, the rocket would have a lift capacity of up to 25 tons for low-orbit missions and 14 tons for higher-orbit missions. China's current "Long March" rockets have a maximum capacity of 12 tons for launch into the low earth orbit and 5.2 tons for higher geosynchronous orbit.
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