BEIJING, March 4 (UPI) -- China's first solid-fuel rocket will be ready to make its first launch before 2016, a senior official in the country's space industry says.
The Long March-11 rocket will be easy to operate and cost-efficient to launch, Liang Xiaohong, deputy head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, told China's state-run Xinhua new agency.
It can remain in storage for long periods and reliably launch on short notice, he said.
"The development of the Long March-11 will greatly improve China's capabilities to rapidly enter the space and meet the emergency launching demand in case of disasters and emergencies."
While China has had more than 160 successful launchings of liquid-fuel rockets, it has yet to complete the design and development of a solid-fuel rocket capable of launches to space.