On November 03, 2016 at 12:43 UTC the Chang Zheng-5 (Long March-5) rocket-carrier was launched from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (WSLC), located in Wenchang on Hainan Island off China’s southern coastline. The maiden test flight gives China a rocket that nearly identically matches the capability of the world’s current space lift leader, United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket, and exceeds the performance of other heavy-lifters like Europe’s Ariane 5 and Russia’s Proton launcher. The rocket orbited the mission’s experimental payload, Shijian 17, designed for an electric propulsion demonstration in orbit. The Long March 5 rocket-carrier is the product of two decades of research and at least nine years of construction, fabrication and testing. It is a centerpiece of China’s plans to assemble a permanently-crewed space station in orbit and send robotic missions to the moon and Mars.