China’s new carrier rocket makes first flight

July 29, 2022

BEIJING – Supported by the academy, the ZK 1A becomes the most powerful solid propellant model in the country

The ZK 1A, a new model of carrier rocket, made its maiden flight at noon on Wednesday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, becoming the largest and fastest solid propellant rocket ever. powerful in the country.

Designed and built by CAS Space, a Beijing-based rocket company owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the rocket lifted off at 12:12 p.m. and quickly placed six satellites into predefined orbits, CAS Space said in a press release.

All satellites are responsible for carrying out technology demonstrations and scientific experiments, he added.

The ZK 1A has a length of 30 meters, a diameter of 2.65 meters and a take-off weight of 135 metric tons. It is capable of sending satellites with a combined weight of 1.5 tons into a typical sun-synchronous orbit about 500 kilometers above the Earth.

The rocket features strong carrying capacity, high accuracy, reliable design, high cost-effectiveness, short pre-launch preparations, low support infrastructure requirements, and is one of the best propellant carrier rockets. strong in the world, the company said.

The successful launch made the ZK 1A the largest and most powerful solid-fuel rocket in China, replacing the Long March 11, a product of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The Long March 11 is 20.8 meters tall, with a diameter of 2 meters and a takeoff weight of 58 tonnes.

The launch mission marked the debut of the ZK series as a new brand of rocket in China, after the long march of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the Kuaizhou of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, the private company SQX i-Space and CERES from Galactic Energy, another private rocket manufacturer.

It also means that the Chinese Academy of Sciences now has its own carrier rocket for orbital launches. CAS had previously designed and manufactured many satellites, but relied on rockets from others to deploy them.

Yang Yiqiang, rocket scientist and founder of CAS Space, said the ZK 1A is an ideal option for launching small and medium-sized satellites. It will enrich the service portfolio of China’s carrier rocket fleet.

He said the company’s researchers were working on the ZK 2, a new design that is expected to become the most powerful solid-propellant rocket in the world.

The designers said that a ZK 2 will consist of a central stage and three side boosters, and all of them will have a diameter of 2.65 meters.

The rocket will be 42 meters tall, have a takeoff weight of 445 tonnes and will be able to carry satellites with a combined weight of 5.6 tonnes into a 500 kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

These specifications will make the ZK 2 even more powerful than several liquid-propellant models in the country’s Long March rocket fleet, according to its designers.

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