China on Thursday launched its first ever space telescope to observe black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts.
The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) was launched via a Long March-4B rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gobi Desert at 11 a.m., reports Xinhua news agency.
The HXMT, dubbed Insight, was sent into an orbit of 550 km above the earth to help scientists better understand the evolution of black holes, and the strong magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars.
Through the telescope, scientists will also study how to use pulsars for spacecraft navigation, and search for gamma-ray bursts corresponding to gravitational waves.
The result of the wisdom and efforts of several generations of Chinese scientists, Insight is expected to push forward the development of space astronomy and improve space X-ray detection technology in China.