China has today successfully launched a space rocket from a ship at sea for the first time.
Video shows the Long March 11 rocket blasting off from a launch pad on a ship in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Shandong province.
According to China National Space Administration, the rocket was carried on board a cargo of seven satellites – two experiment satellites Bufeng-1A and Bufeng-1B and five commercial satellites.
The two experiment satellites will help analyse the weather conditions at sea in order to provide accurate weather forecast, it is reported.
China is now the third country with proven ability to launch rockets into space from 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.
It claimed the launch could provide future satellite services to the countries in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiatives.
Today’s launch was a joint effort with several companies including China Academy of Space Technology and China International Marine Containers.
It also marked the 306th launch of rockets in the Long March series.