China launches a rocket from a ship for the first time

The Long March 11 rocket successfully took off from a cargo ship in the Yellow Sea.

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China Daily CDIC / Reuters
China Daily CDIC / Reuters

China has joined the US and Russia as the only nations to have successfully launched a rocket at sea. The National Space Administration's Long March 11 took off from a launchpad on a ship in the Yellow Sea today. The rocket carried five commercial satellites (including two for a company that plans to set up a global network of internet satellites) and two research-focused experimental ones.

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While the US and Russia worked with other countries on the Sea Launch platform (which wound down in 2014), China is the only nation to have launched a rocket from sea using a platform and tech it fully owns, according to TechCrunch. The launch, however, took place from a private cargo ship. SpaceX, meanwhile, has also launched and landed rockets at sea.

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