Long March rocket lifts three satel­lites

Launch shows ef­forts in rec­ti­fy­ing prob­lems and re­stores con­fi­dence

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China used a Long March 2C car­rier rocket on Fri­day to lift three satel­lites, as the na­tion re­sumes space launches after a ma­jor fail­ure in July.

The rocket blasted off at 12:21 pm at the Xichang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Sichuan prov­ince, suc­cess­fully plac­ing three Yao­gan 30-1 satel­lites into or­bit, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from China Aero­space Science and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, the ma­jor con­trac­tor of the coun­try’s space pro­grams.

De­vel­oped by the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences, the satel­lites will be used to carry out tech­no­log­i­cal ex­per­i­ments on the elec­tro­mag­netic en­vi­ron­ment, the re­lease said.

It said that Fri­day’s launch was a bat­tle for “the honor and con­fi­dence” of China’s space in­dus­try, there­fore engi­neers made thor­ough checks in ac­cor­dance with their strictest stan­dards.

The mis­sion’s suc­cess has shown that the com­pany’s ef­forts in rec­ti­fy­ing prob­lems and im­prov­ing its rock­ets’ qual­ity have achieved their goals, and will bring con­fi­dence to its work­ers, the com­pany noted.

This has been the 251st flight of the Long March fam­ily and the first in nearly three months since July 2, when the sec­ond mis­sion of China’s new­est and strong­est rocket, Long March 5, failed due to mal­func­tions.

The fail­ure has af­fected the coun­try’s space pro­grams as it had to post­pone sev­eral key mis­sions such as the Chang’e 5 lu­nar ex­pe­di­tion that is set to send a rover to take sam­ples from the moon’s sur­face and bring them back to Earth.

As China’s might­i­est and most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced launch ve­hi­cle, the Long March 5 has a liftoff weight of 869 met­ric tons, a max­i­mum pay­load of 25 tons to a lowEarth or­bit, and a pay­load of 14 tons to a geosyn­chronous trans­fer or­bit. The Long March 5’s pay­load ca­pac­ity is about 2.5 times big­ger than any other Chi­nese rocket.

The Long March 5’s first flight was car­ried out in Novem­ber at the Wen­chang cen­ter. Chi­nese sci­en­tists wish to use the rocket to send large probes to the moon, Mars as well as Jupiter. They also plan to use it to trans­port parts of a manned space sta­tion that will start con­struc­tion around 2019.

Long March 2C was first flown in 1982 and had been used in 41 space flights be­fore Fri­day’s launch. Its big­gest fea­ture is its high re­li­a­bil­ity. It is the only Chi­nese car­rier rocket that has been launched at all of the coun­try’s three in­land launch cen­ters — Ji­uquan, Xichang and Taiyuan, ac­cord­ing to China Academy of Launch Ve­hi­cle Tech­nol­ogy, which de­vel­oped the rocket.

The academy said that Fri­day’s flight marked the first time that a Long March 2C has car­ried three satel­lites. All of its pre­vi­ous mis­sions fer­ried one or two satel­lites into space.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.