China launches Long March-11 rocket from offshore launchpad. Watch video

China launched its Long March-11 rocket from an offshore launchpad in the Yellow Sea carrying two satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

Livemint
First Published8 Oct 2022, 03:36 PM IST
The rocket is a four-stage launch vehicle that can perform both on-land and offshore takeoffs.
The rocket is a four-stage launch vehicle that can perform both on-land and offshore takeoffs.(China ’N Asia Spaceflight / Twitter)

China launched its Long March-11 rocket from an offshore launchpad carrying two satellites into the Lower Earth Orbit (LEO). By launching its first rocket from the sea, China has flexed its space power capabilities, which seem to be one step ahead of other countries. For the first time a Long March-11 launch vehicle was modified to launch from a nearshore platform, which was located about three kilometers away.

“China successfully launched two satellites Centispace-S5/S6 with LEO satellite navigation enhancement system from a mobile launch pad in the Yellow Sea off East China’s Shandong Province on Friday, via a Long March-11 carrier rocket,” tweeted Chinese government official Zhang Meifang.

 

 

China National Space Administration (CNSA) informed that the launch was conducted on 7 October and the goal was to launch the CentiSpace-1 S5 and S6 satellites into space to improve the accuracy of signals from China's Beidou navigation and positioning satellite system. The launch vehicle is intended to transport a 500-kilogram payload to both sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) and low-Earth orbit (LEO).

The launch took place on a converted barge stationed three kilometers from the coast, which was much closer, reducing mission preparation time.

The mission was China's fourth sea launch, following the first in June 2019 with the same Long March 11 launcher used in all launches. China is aiming to perfect the sea launch system which is more economical as rockets are easier to transport to a nearshore platform.

According to experts, a nearshore launch is safer because the ocean conditions are better and the jettisoning of empty propellant tanks out to sea is safer.

This was China's 43rd orbital mission of 2022 and the country plans to launch at least 50 this year. The space agency has also planned the launch of the third Tiangong space station module this month.

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First Published:8 Oct 2022, 03:36 PM IST
HomeNewsworldChina launches Long March-11 rocket from offshore launchpad. Watch video

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