Com­mer­cial car­rier rocket Jie­long-1 launches satellites

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

The Jie­long-1 rocket, the first com­mer­cial rocket pro­duced by the sta­te­owned China Aero­space Science and Tech­nol­ogy Corp (CASC), was launched on Satur­day, send­ing three satellites into or­bit, the com­pany said.

The car­rier rocket suc­cess­fully blasted off from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in North­west China’s Gansu Province at 12:11 pm Bei­jing time, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased by CASC’S Wechat ac­count.

As an ex­am­ple of civil­ian-mil­i­tary tech­nol­ogy in­te­gra­tion in the com­mer­cial aero­space area, the rocket is of the high­est stan­dard in the in­dus­try. The Jie­long-1 is the light­est and small­est solid pro­pel­lant rocket in China, but it is de­signed with the high­est pay­load ca­pac­ity.

At 19.5 me­ters long and with a di­am­e­ter of 1.2 me­ters, the solid-pro­pel­lant car­rier rocket can send a pay­load of 200 kilo­grams to an or­bit of 500 kilo­me­ters.

The Jie­long-1 rocket is also the first car­rier rocket des­ig­nated for com­mer­cial use in China. The Jie­long rocket se­ries has been devel­oped for the com­mer­cial mar­ket, and CASC said that it is tar­get­ing the pri­vate launch mar­ket for small satellites. Its sup­pli­ers are de­cided based on com­pet­i­tive and mar­ket-ori­ented pro­ce­dures.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, the three satellites were made by the Bei­jing Qian­sheng Ex­plo­ration Tech­nol­ogy Co. The main satel­lite, the Qian­sheng No.1 weigh­ing 65 kilo­grams, is the big­gest satel­lite to have been in­de­pen­dently de­signed and pro­duced by a pri­vate Chi­nese start-up. It is also the first dual-func­tion satel­lite made by a Chi­nese start-up, with both re­mote-sens­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ca­pac­i­ties.

Xing Qiang, founder of Mi­cro Rocket Union, an al­liance of sci­en­tists, told the Global Times that the col­lab­o­ra­tion with state-owned en­ter­prises with rich ex­pe­ri­ence in rocket launches such as CASC, will give the pri­vate aero­space com­pa­nies a com­pet­i­tive edge.

“China is a world leader in terms of rocket launch­ing tech­nol­ogy,” Xing said. “A com­bi­na­tion of their tech­nol­ogy and the more flexible com­mer­cial oper­a­tion mode will give rise to huge in­no­va­tion po­ten­tial.”

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