Long March rocket

Long March rocket

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Long March rocket'
Start a new discussion about 'Long March rocket'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A Long March rocket or Chang Zheng rocket as in Chinese pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 is any rocket
Rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 in a family of expendable launch system
Expendable launch system
An expendable launch system is a launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle to carry a payload into space. The vehicles used in expendable launch systems are designed to be used only once , and their components are not recovered for re-use after launch...

s operated by the People's Republic of China. Development and design falls under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is the premier space launch vehicle manufacturer in China and one of the major launch service providers in the world. CALT is a subordinate of the larger China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation...

. In English, the rockets are abbreviated as LM- for export and CZ- within China, as "Chang Zheng" means "Long March" in Chinese pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

. The rockets are named after the Long March
Long March
The Long March was a massive military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, the forerunner of the People's Liberation Army, to evade the pursuit of the Kuomintang army. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south...

 of Chinese communist history
History of the People's Republic of China
The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of mainland China since October 1, 1949, when, after a near complete victory by the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China from atop Tiananmen...

.

History



China launched its first satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

, known as Dong Fang Hong 1 ("the East is Red"), to Earth orbit on its own Long March space rocket on April 24, 1970, becoming the fifth nation to achieve independent launch capability. Early launches had a spotty record, focusing on launching of Chinese satellites. Since 1990, Long March rocket entered the international market. However, several setbacks occurred during early 1990s. On January 26, 1995, a Long March 2E rocket veered off course two seconds after take-off from Xichang space center and exploded, killing at least six on the ground. On February 14, 1996, a similar failure during the launch of Intelsat 708
Intelsat 708
Intelsat 708 was a telecommunications satellite built by the American company Space Systems/Loral intended to be launched into a geostationary orbit and operated by Intelsat...

. The rocket veered severely off course right after clearing the launch tower and crashed in a rural village. Following the disaster, foreign media were sequestered in a bunker for five hours while, some have alleged, the Chinese military attempted to 'clean up' the damage. Officials later blamed the failure on an "unexpected gust of wind" Xinhua News Agency
Xinhua News Agency
The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the government of the People's Republic of China and the biggest center for collecting information and press conferences in the PRC. It is the largest news agency in the PRC, ahead of the China News Service...

 initially reported 6 deaths and 57 injuries. In the aftermath of the explosion, U.S. satellite makers shared information which allowed the Chinese to determine that the problem was in the welds. However, this sharing of information was later deemed illegal by the United States, and U.S. satellite maker Loral Space and Communications was fined $14 million by the U.S. government in 2002, while admitting no wrong-doing.

For thirteen years, between August 1996 and August 2009, 75 consecutive successful launches were conducted, ending with the launch of Palapa-D
Palapa-D
Palapa-D, also known as Palapa D1, is an Indonesian geostationary communications satellite which is operated by Indosat. It was built by Thales Alenia Space, based on the Spacebus-4000B3 satellite bus, and carries thirty five G/H band and five J band transponders...

 on August 31, 2009, which partially failed due to a third stage malfunction. On October 15, 2003, the Long March 2F rocket successfully launched the Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5  — was the first human spaceflight mission of the People's Republic of China , launched on October 15, 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of unmanned Shenzhou missions since 1999...

spacecraft/orbiter carrying China's first astronaut into space; China thus became the third nation to send a person in space independently, after the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

/Russia and the United States. A Long March 2F launched the Shenzhou 6
Shenzhou 6
Shenzhou 6 was the second human spaceflight of the People's Republic of China, launched on October 12, 2005 on a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Shenzhou spacecraft carried a crew of Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in low Earth orbit...

with two astronauts on October 12, 2005. On June 1, 2007, Long March rockets completed the 100th launch. On October 24, 2007, the Long March 3A successfully launched (18:05 GMT+8) the "Chang'e 1" lunar
Moon
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...

 orbiting spacecraft
Spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Xichang Satellite Launch Center
The Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 , is a People’s Republic of China space vehicle launch facility approximately 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province....

. On September 25, 2008, a Long March 2F launched Shenzhou 7
Shenzhou 7
- Backup crew :Of the back-up crew, only Chen Quan had not previously flown in space.- Mission highlights :The Long March 2F rocket launched the Shenzhou 7 into an initial elliptical orbit of 200 x 330 kilometres inclined at 42.4 degrees on 25 September 2008. About seven hours later the spacecraft...

, China's first three-man mission and first EVA
Extra-vehicular activity
Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

 mission.

Payloads


The Long March is China's primary expendable launch system family. The Shenzhou
Shenzhou
Shenzhou may refer to:*Shenzhou , or "Divine Land", name of China*Shenzhou City, in Hebei, China*Shenzhou , an album by ambient musician Biosphere*Shenzhou program, a manned spaceflight initiative by the People's Republic of China...

 spacecraft and Chang'e
Chang'e
Chang'e may refer to:* Chang'e - a traditional Chinese lunar goddess* The Chinese Chang'e space program, part of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program :** Chang'e 1 - the first CLEP lunar orbiter, launched on 24 October 2007...

 lunar orbiters are also launched on the Long March rocket. The maximum payload for LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 is 12,000 kg (CZ-3B), the maximum payload for GTO
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

 is 5,500 kg (CZ-3B/E). The next generation rocket Long March 5
Long March 5 rocket family
Long March 5 is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology . Currently, six CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kg to LEO and...

 variants will offer more payload in the future.

Propellants


Long March 1
Long March 1
Long March 1 is 1st member of China's Long March 1 .The study of Long March 1 began in 1965. Long March 1's first flight put China's first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 to space on April 24, 1970.* Stages: 3...

's 1st and 2nd stage uses HNO3 and UDMH
UDMH
Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is a toxic volatile hygroscopic clear liquid, with a sharp, fishy, ammoniacal smell typical for organic amines. It turns yellowish on exposure to air and absorbs oxygen and carbon dioxide. It mixes completely with water, ethanol, and kerosene. In concentration...

 propellants, and its upper stage use a spin-stabilized solid rocket engine.

Long March 2, Long March 3
Long March 3
The Long March 3 , also known as the Chang Zheng 3, CZ-3 and LM-3, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 3-stage rocket, and was mostly used to place DFH-2-class communications satellites into geosynchronous...

, Long March 4, the main stages and associated liquid rocket booster
Liquid Rocket Booster
A Liquid Rocket Booster is similar to a solid rocket booster attached to the side of a rocket to give it extra lift at takeoff. A Liquid Rocket Booster has fuel and oxidiser in liquid form, as opposed to a solid rocket or hybrid rocket....

s use dinitrogen tetroxide
Dinitrogen tetroxide
Dinitrogen tetroxide is the chemical compound N2O4. It is a useful reagent in chemical synthesis. It forms an equilibrium mixture with nitrogen dioxide; some call this mixture dinitrogen tetroxide, while some call it nitrogen dioxide.Dinitrogen tetroxide is a powerful oxidizer, making it highly...

 as the oxidizing agent
Oxidizing agent
An oxidizing agent can be defined as a substance that removes electrons from another reactant in a redox chemical reaction...

 and UDMH
UDMH
Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is a toxic volatile hygroscopic clear liquid, with a sharp, fishy, ammoniacal smell typical for organic amines. It turns yellowish on exposure to air and absorbs oxygen and carbon dioxide. It mixes completely with water, ethanol, and kerosene. In concentration...

 as the fuel. The upper stages (third stage) of Long March 3 rockets use YF-73
YF-73
The YF-73 is China's first successful, cryogenic, gimballed engine, using liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer. It was developed in the early 1980s and first flight was in 1984.- Specifications :*Vacuum thrust: 44.15 kN...

 and YF-75
YF-75
The YF-75 is China's second generation of cryogenic gimballed engine, using liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer. Its development began in the early 1990s and its first flight was in 1994.- Specifications :*Vacuum thrust: 78.45 kN...

 engines, using 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...

 (LH2) as the fuel 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:...

 (LOX) as the oxidizer.

The new generation of Long March rocket family, Long March 5, and its derivations Long March 6
Long March 6
The Long March 6 or Chang Zheng 6 as in pinyin, abbreviated LM-6 for export or CZ-6 within China, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket, which is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and is scheduled to...

, Long March 7
Long March 7
The Long March 7 , or Chang Zheng 7 as in pinyin, abbreviated LM-7 for export or CZ-7 within China, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket, which is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation....

 will use LOX
Lox
Lox is salmon fillet that has been cured. In its most popular form, it is thinly sliced—less than in thickness—and, typically, served on a bagel, often with cream cheese, onion, tomato, cucumber and capers...

 and kerosene
Kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

 as core stage and liquid booster propellant, while LOX
Lox
Lox is salmon fillet that has been cured. In its most popular form, it is thinly sliced—less than in thickness—and, typically, served on a bagel, often with cream cheese, onion, tomato, cucumber and capers...

 and LH2 in upper stages.

Specifications of Long March rocket family


The Long March rockets are organized into several series:
  • Long March 1 rocket family
    Long March 1 rocket family
    The Long March 1 rocket family is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.It includes two models: Long March 1 and Long March 1D....

  • Long March 2 rocket family
    Long March 2 rocket family
    Long March 2 rocket family or Chang Zheng 2 rocket family as in Chinese pinyin is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.-History:...

  • Long March 3 rocket family
  • Long March 4 rocket family
  • Long March 5 rocket family
    Long March 5 rocket family
    Long March 5 is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology . Currently, six CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kg to LEO and...

  • Long March 6 rocket family
  • Long March 7 rocket family

Model Status Stages Length
(m)
Max. diameter
(m)
Liftoff mass
(t)
Liftoff thrust
(kN)
Payload
(LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

, kg)
Payload
(GTO
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

, kg)
Long March 1
Long March 1
Long March 1 is 1st member of China's Long March 1 .The study of Long March 1 began in 1965. Long March 1's first flight put China's first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 to space on April 24, 1970.* Stages: 3...

Retired 3 29.86 2.25 081.6 1,020 300 -
Long March 1D
Long March 1D
Long March 1D is the improved version of Long March 1 rocket stage for Chinese space agency craft, mainly for the thrustor of stage 1, from 1020 kilonewtons to 1101.2 kilonewtons, also improved the performance for stage 2 and stage 3. The improved Long March 1D can launch variant of LEO satellite;...

Retired 3 28.22 2.25 081.1 1,101 930 -
Long March 2A
Long March 2A
The Long March 2A, also known as the Chang Zheng 2A, CZ-2A and LM-2A, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Area 2B at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 2-stage rocket, and flew just once, on 5 November 1974...

Retired 2 31.17 3.35 190 2,786 1,800 -
Long March 2C
Long March 2C
Long March 2C , or Chang Zheng 2C as in Chinese pinyin is a member of the Long March 2 rocket family, an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China. This vehicle was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and the first launch occurred on November 26,...

Active 2 35.15 3.35 192 2,786 2,400 -
Long March 2D
Long March 2D
The Long March 2D , also known as the Chang Zheng 2D, CZ-2D and LM-2D, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It is a 2-stage carrier rocket mainly used for launching LEO and SSO satellites. It is mainly launched from areas 2B and 2S at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center but can be launched from China's...

Active 2 33.667
(without shield)
3.35 232 2,962 3,100 -
Long March 2E
Long March 2E
The Long March 2E, also known as the Chang Zheng 2E, CZ-2E and LM-2E, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. Designed to launch commercial communications satellites, the Long March 2E was retired in favour of the Long March 3B, after two launch failures. Launched from complex 2 at the Xichang...

Retired 2 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
49.686 7.85 462 5,923 9,500 3,500
Long March 2E(A) In development 2 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
53.60 N/A 695 8,910 14,100
Long March 2F
Long March 2F
The Long March 2F , also known as the CZ-2F, LM-2F and Shenjian, is a Chinese manned orbital carrier rocket, part of the Long March rocket family. Designed to launch manned Shenzhou spacecraft, the Long March 2F is a man-rated two-stage version of the Long March 2E rocket, which in turn was based...

Active 2 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
58.34 7.85 480 5,923 8,400 3,370
Long March 2F/G Active 2 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
N/A 7.85 N/A N/A 11,200 N/A
Long March 3
Long March 3
The Long March 3 , also known as the Chang Zheng 3, CZ-3 and LM-3, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 3-stage rocket, and was mostly used to place DFH-2-class communications satellites into geosynchronous...

Retired 3 43.8 3.35 202 2,962 5,000 1,500
Long March 3A
Long March 3A
The Long March 3A , also known as the Chang Zheng 3A, CZ-3A and LM-3A, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It is a 3-stage rocket, and is usually used to place communications satellites and Beidou navigation satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits.It has formed the basis of the Long March...

Active 3 52.52 3.35 241 2,962 8,500 2,600
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...

Retired? 3 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
54.838 4.00 426 5,924 12,000 5,100
Long March 3B/E Active 3 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
56.326 4.20 458.97 ? ? 5,500
Long March 3B(A) In development 3 (plus 4
Strap-on boosters)
62.00 4.20 580 8,910 13,000 6,000
Long March 3C
Long March 3C
The Long March 3C , also known as the Chang Zheng 3C, CZ-3C and LM-3C, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It is launched from Launch Complex 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. A 3-stage rocket with two strapon liquid rocket boosters, it is a member of the Long March 3 rocket family, and...

Active 3 (plus 2
Strap-on boosters)
55.638 7.85 345 4,443 ? 3,800
Long March 4A
Long March 4A
The Long March 4A , also known as the Chang Zheng 4A, CZ-4A and LM-4A, sometimes misidentified as the Long March 4 due to the lack of any such designated rocket, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 3-stage...

Retired 3 41.9 3.35 249 2,962 4,000 (SSO
Sun-synchronous orbit
A Sun-synchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit which combines altitude and inclination in such a way that an object on that orbit ascends or descends over any given point of the Earth's surface at the same local mean solar time. The surface illumination angle will be nearly the same every time...

)

1,500
Long March 4B
Long March 4B
The Long March 4B , also known as the Chang Zheng 4B, CZ-4B and LM-4B is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. Launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, it is a 3-stage rocket, used mostly to place satellites into low Earth and sun synchronous orbits...

Active 3 44.1 3.8 254 2,971 4,200 (SSO)
2,200
Long March 4C
Long March 4C
The Long March 4C, also known as the Chang Zheng 4C, CZ-4C and LM-4C, previously designated Long March 4B-II, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It is launched from the Jiuquan and Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centres, and consists of 3 stages...

Active 3   3.35   2,971? 4,200 (SSO)
2,800
Long March 5 In development 3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 25,000 14,000
Long March 6
Long March 6
The Long March 6 or Chang Zheng 6 as in pinyin, abbreviated LM-6 for export or CZ-6 within China, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket, which is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and is scheduled to...

In development 3           (SSO)
500

2A 2C 2D 2E 2F 3 3A 3B 3C 4A 4B 4C

Origins


The Long March 1
Long March 1
Long March 1 is 1st member of China's Long March 1 .The study of Long March 1 began in 1965. Long March 1's first flight put China's first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 to space on April 24, 1970.* Stages: 3...

 rocket is derived from earlier Chinese 2-stage IRBM DF-4, or Dong Feng 4 missile, and Long March 2, Long March 3
Long March 3
The Long March 3 , also known as the Chang Zheng 3, CZ-3 and LM-3, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 3-stage rocket, and was mostly used to place DFH-2-class communications satellites into geosynchronous...

, Long March 4 rocket families are ascends of Chinese 2-stage ICBMs
Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a long range typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery...

 DF-5
DF-5
The Dongfeng 5[Wǔ] or DF-5 is a 3 stage Chinese ICBM. It has a length 32.6 m and a diameter of 3.35 m. It weighs in at 183,000 kilograms and it has an estimated range of 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers. The DF-5 had its first flight in 1971 and was in operational service 10 years later...

, or Dong Feng 5 missile. However, like its counterparts in both the United States and in Russia, the differing needs of space rockets and strategic missiles have caused the development of space rockets and missiles to diverge. The main goal of a space rocket is to maximize payload, while for strategic missiles increased throw weight is much less important than the ability to launch quickly and to survive a first strike
First strike
In nuclear strategy, a first strike is a preemptive surprise attack employing overwhelming force. First strike capability is a country's ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country can survive the weakened retaliation while the opposing...

. This divergence has become clear in the next generation of Long March rockets which use cryogenic propellants
Cryogenic fuel
Cryogenic fuels are fuels that require storage at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state. Cryogenic fuels most often constitute liquefied gases such as liquid hydrogen....

 in sharp contrast to the next generation of strategic missiles which are mobile and solid fuel
Solid fuel
Solid fuel refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion....

led.

The next generation of Long March rocket, Long March 5 rocket family will be a brand new design, while Long March 6
Long March 6
The Long March 6 or Chang Zheng 6 as in pinyin, abbreviated LM-6 for export or CZ-6 within China, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket, which is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and is scheduled to...

 and Long March 7
Long March 7
The Long March 7 , or Chang Zheng 7 as in pinyin, abbreviated LM-7 for export or CZ-7 within China, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket, which is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation....

 can be seen as derivations because they use the liquid rocket booster
Liquid Rocket Booster
A Liquid Rocket Booster is similar to a solid rocket booster attached to the side of a rocket to give it extra lift at takeoff. A Liquid Rocket Booster has fuel and oxidiser in liquid form, as opposed to a solid rocket or hybrid rocket....

 design of Long March 5 to build small-to-mid capacity launch vehicles.

Launch sites


There are four launch centers in China. They are:
  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility .The facility is part of Dongfeng Aerospace City , and is located in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner , Alxa League , Inner Mongolia, situated about 1,600 km from Beijing.- History :It was founded in 1958,...

  • Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
    Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
    The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 25 , is a People's Republic of China space and defence launch facility . It is situated in Kelan County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi Province and is the second of three launch sites having been founded in March 1966 and coming into full...

  • Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center , located near Wenchang on the north-east coast of Hainan Island, is a former sub-orbital test center currently under upgrade. It is the fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility of the People's Republic of China...

  • Xichang Satellite Launch Center
    Xichang Satellite Launch Center
    The Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 , is a People’s Republic of China space vehicle launch facility approximately 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province....



Most of the commercial satellite launches of Long March vehicles have been from Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Xichang Satellite Launch Center
The Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 , is a People’s Republic of China space vehicle launch facility approximately 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province....

, located in Xichang
Xichang
Xichang is a city in and the seat of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in the south of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. In 2004 it had a population of 126,700.-Geography:...

, Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province. Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center , located near Wenchang on the north-east coast of Hainan Island, is a former sub-orbital test center currently under upgrade. It is the fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility of the People's Republic of China...

 in Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 province is under expansion and will be the main launch center for future commercial satellite launches. Long March launches also take place from the more military oriented Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility .The facility is part of Dongfeng Aerospace City , and is located in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner , Alxa League , Inner Mongolia, situated about 1,600 km from Beijing.- History :It was founded in 1958,...

 in Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 province from which the manned Shenzhou spacecraft
Shenzhou spacecraft
Shenzhou is a spacecraft developed and operated by the People's Republic of China to support its manned spaceflight program. The name is variously translated as "Divine Craft," "Divine Vessel of God," "Magic Boat" or similar and is also homophonous with an ancient name for China...

 also launches. Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 25 , is a People's Republic of China space and defence launch facility . It is situated in Kelan County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi Province and is the second of three launch sites having been founded in March 1966 and coming into full...

 is located in Shanxi
Shanxi
' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

 province and focuses on the launches of Sun-synchronous orbit
Sun-synchronous orbit
A Sun-synchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit which combines altitude and inclination in such a way that an object on that orbit ascends or descends over any given point of the Earth's surface at the same local mean solar time. The surface illumination angle will be nearly the same every time...

 satellites.

Commercial launch services


China markets launch services under the China Great Wall Industry Corporation. Its efforts to launch communications satellites were dealt a blow in the mid-1990s after the United States stopped issuing export licenses to companies to allow them to launch on Chinese launch vehicles out of fear that this would help China's military
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

. In the face of this, Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space is an aerospace company born after the Thales Group bought the participation of Alcatel in the two joint-ventures between Alcatel and Finmeccanica, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio.-History:...

 built the Chinasat-6B satellite with no components from the United States whatsoever. This allowed it to be launched on a Chinese launch vehicle without violating U.S. ITAR
International Traffic in Arms Regulations
International Traffic in Arms Regulations is a set of United States government regulations that control the export and import of defense-related articles and services on the United States Munitions List...

 restrictions. The launch, on a Long March 3B rocket, was successfully conducted on July 5, 2007.

See also


  • China National Space Administration
    China National Space Administration
    The China National Space Administration is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China responsible for the national space program. It is responsible for planning and development of space activities...

  • Shenzhou spacecraft
    Shenzhou spacecraft
    Shenzhou is a spacecraft developed and operated by the People's Republic of China to support its manned spaceflight program. The name is variously translated as "Divine Craft," "Divine Vessel of God," "Magic Boat" or similar and is also homophonous with an ancient name for China...

  • Space program of China
  • Tsien Hsue-shen
    Tsien Hsue-shen
    Qian Xuesen was a scientist who made important contributions to the missile and space programs of both the United States and People's Republic of China. Historical documents in the U. S. commonly refer to him with the earlier family-name last spelling, Hsue-Shen Tsien or H.S...


External links