Long March 3A
The Long March 3A also known as the Chang Zheng 3A, CZ-3A and LM-3A, is a Chinese
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

al carrier rocket. It is a 3-stage rocket, and is usually used to place communications satellites and Beidou
Beidou navigation system
The BeiDou Navigation System or BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is a project by China to develop an independent satellite navigation system...

 navigation satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits.

It has formed the basis of the Long March 3B
Long March 3B
The Long March 3B , also known as the Chang Zheng 3B, CZ-3B and LM-3B, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. Introduced in 1996, it is launched from Launch Area 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre...

, which is a heavier version with four liquid booster rockets.


Long March 3A rockets have been launched from Launch Areas 2 and 3 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. Its maiden flight was on 8 February 1994. On 24 October 2007, a Long March 3A launched Chang'e-1, the first Chinese Lunar
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

Exploration of the Moon
The physical exploration of the Moon began when Luna 2, a space probe launched by the Soviet Union, made an impact on the surface of the Moon on September 14, 1959. Prior to that the only available means of exploration had been observation. The invention of the optical telescope brought about the...


The Long March 3A has made 17 consecutive successful launches with an overall perfect launch record.

Technical data

LM-3A is a 3-stage launch vehicle developed on the basis of LM-3 and LM-2C. Its third stage is powered by cryogenic propellants: liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

 and liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen — abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries — is one of the physical forms of elemental oxygen.-Physical properties:...

. It is dedicated for launching spacecraft into GTO
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

. Its launch capability for GTO mission is 2,600 kg. The fairing static envelope is 3m in diameter.
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