China’s Long March-6C rocket makes maiden flight

China’s Long March-6C rocket makes maiden flight

China’s Long March-6C carrier rocket made its first flight on Tuesday, putting four satellites into space.

The rocket blasted off at 11:21 a.m. (Beijing Time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China’s Shanxi Province, sending Neptune-01, Smart-1C, a broadband optical satellite and a high-resolution video satellite into the program. orbit.

It is the 520th flight mission of the Long March series rocket and marks the introduction of a new member to the series, enriching China’s new-generation Long March carrier rocket category.

The Long March-6C carrier rocket was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Aerospace Technology (SAST) and is intended to serve the future commercial launch market.

As a new generation of liquid carrier rockets, the Long March-6C has a first stage in diameter of 3.35 meters, driven by two liquid oxygen kerosene engines with 120 tons of thrust, and a second stage in diameter of 2.9 meters, powered. by a liquid oxygen kerosene engine with 18 tons of thrust.

The total length of the rocket is about 43 meters, with a take-off weight of about 215 tons. It has a carrying capacity of about 2.4 tons for a 500 km solar synchronous orbit and can be equipped with various satellite fairings according to different launch missions.

In the growing satellite launch industry, users need highly reliable, cost-effective, adaptable and fast-responsive carrier rockets.

The Long March-6C carrier rocket uses adaptive augmentation control technology to realize precise control of its attitude and advance the intelligence of the rocket control system.

“This technology can be explained as intelligent driving in a simple way,” said Hu Cunming, a rocket expert at SAST.

In addition, the researchers also reduced the excess space between the two tanks inside the rocket to reduce its weight and make it carry as much fuel as possible. The development improved the structural efficiency and carrying capacity of the rocket.

Notably, the four satellites on the rocket went through an open commercial bid to be launched collectively.

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