China's new rocket for reusable technology

China says it has launched a new carrier rocket as part of efforts to develop reusable launch vehicles.

The China National Space Administration announced the Long March-8 rocket made its maiden flight from a launch site in the southern Chinese island of Hainan, on Tuesday.

The just over 50-meter-long rocket uses liquid fuel, which is said have relatively low impact on the environment.

The rocket is said to be capable of carrying a payload of at least 4.5 tons to an altitude of 700 kilometers.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency quotes a designer from a firm producing the rocket as saying the "Long March-8 will offer a platform for applications and experiments" involving "recycling, intelligent and automatic technologies."

China reportedly aims to develop reusable rockets, like those produced by US aerospace venture SpaceX.

The country is accelerating its space development efforts to achieve a goal of becoming a major space power by 2030.

Last week, China announced its lunar mission brought back a capsule containing rocks from the moon.