China launched world's first methane-fuelled space rocket

The world's first methane-fuelled space rocket, “Zhuque-2”, was launched into orbit by a private Chinese company, Landscape. This launch, completed on 12th July from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, marks a significant move towards cleaner, cheaper and reusable space travel technology. Zhuque-2, which is powered by liquid oxygen and liquid methane, has a liftoff weight of 216 metric tons and can carry up to 6,000 kg of payload into a low Earth orbit. This was the second attempt by Landscape after the initial failure in December last year.

Important Points to remember

  1. Zhuque-2 is the world's first methane-fuelled space rocket.
  2. It was launched by a private Chinese company called Landscape.
  3. The successful launch took place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region.
  4. This development can lead to cleaner, safe and reusable space travel technology.
  5. The rocket can carry a payload of up to 6000 kg into a 200 km low Earth orbit and 4000 kg into a 500 km Sun-synchronous orbit.
  6. This was Landscape's second attempt after a failed launch in December.
  7. Methane engines offer lower operational costs, making them a feasible option for reusable rockets.