Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DRAGON SPACE
Rocket launch gets China one step closer to own space station
by Wang Cong, Fu Shuangqi
Wenchang (XNA) Jun 28, 2016


A Long March-7 carrier rocket lifts off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, south China's Hainan Province, June 25, 2016. Image courtesy Xinhua and Li Gang.

China on Saturday successfully blasted off its new generation carrier rocket Long March-7 from Wenchang space launch center in south China's Hainan province. In a cloud of white smoke, the rocket ascended against the dark sky, trailing a vast column of flame. Space fans in specially set up viewing areas erupted with applause.

Minutes later, Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, declared the launch a success. The rocket's payload separated from the rocket 603 seconds after blast-off, and entered an oval orbit with a low point, or perigee, of 200 kilometers, and a high point, or apogee, of 394 kilometers.

The launch is the first by the Wenchang site, and the 230th of China's Long March carrier rocket family. Its mission is to verify the design and performance of the new carrier rocket, to evaluate mission execution capacity of the Wenchang launch site, and to check coordination and compatibility of project-related systems.

New Carrier
The Long March-7 is a medium-sized, two-stage rocket that can carry up to 13.5 tonnes to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Earlier reports said the rocket now uses kerosene and liquid oxygen as fuel, rather than the highly toxic propellant, making it more environmental friendly and less expensive.

Experts forecast that the 53.1-meter-long, 597-tonne rocket will become the main carrier for China's future space missions.

Its 13.5-tonne LEO payload capacity means it can carry 1.5 times as much as the country's current launch vehicles.

"The more our rockets can lift, the farther we can venture into space," said Ma Zhonghui, chief designer for the rocket.

"Long March-7's successful maiden flight will greatly lift up China's comprehensive space capacity, and give the country a hefty boost in building itself into a space power," he said.

In many senses, the blast-off of the Long March-7 is of key importance to China's space programs, deemed by many a source of surging national pride and a marker of its global stature and technical expertise.

The rocket's payload includes a scaled-down version of "a reentry module of a multi-function spacecraft," said Wu Ping, a deputy director with China's manned space program.

Wu said the 2,600-kg re-entry module is expected to return to Earth on Sunday afternoon, some 20 hours after the Long March-7 launch.

It is expected to land in a desert in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, close to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Data collected from the re-entry experiment will help with future research on a new generation manned spacecraft, Wu said.

What's Aboard
Also onboard the Long March-7 rocket are an "Aolong-1" space debris clearer, two "Tiange" data relay spacecraft, a CubeSat designed to study Earth's gravitational field and space radiation, and a space refueling device that could be used to resupply satellites and space stations to extend their operating life spans.

After being separated from the Long March-7, they will be carried into different orbits onboard an upgraded "space shuttle bus" Yuanzheng-1A, tasked to send these spacecraft in the next 48 hours using its own power system.

Saturday's launch also marks a key step towards China's plan to eventually operate a permanent space station in the final step of the country's three-phase manned space program.

The country launched its first manned spaceflight in 2003, and blasted off its first space lab Tiangong-1 in 2011.

The next and final step will be to assemble and operate a 60-tonne space station around 2022.

To do that, Chinese engineers have planned four space launches within ten months till April next year, of which the Long March-7 mission is the first.

A second mission in late September will put the Tiangong-2 space lab into orbit, and the third one will see the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, which will carry two Taikonauts, dock with Tiangong-2 in October.

In April 2017, the country's first cargo ship Tianzhou-1, which literally means "heavenly vessel," will be sent to dock with Tiangong-2 in the final mission.

New Launch Site
Wenchang will be the main launch site for future space station missions, including the launch of Tianzhou-1.

Completed in 2014, the Wenchang launch site is the the fourth of its kind in China.

Among the other three, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Dessert is currently the nation's only manned spacecraft launch center, while Xichang in southwest China's Sichuan Province is mainly used to launch powerful-thrust rockets and geostationary satellites.

The third, Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province, is capable of launching satellites into both medium and low orbits.

Being the closest site to the equator, Wenchang boasts considerable latitudinal advantages - Satellites launched from low latitudes are expected to have a longer service life as a result of the fuel saved by a shorter maneuver from transit to geosynchronous orbit. That extra fuel can later be used to regulate and sustain orbit.

This means rockets launched in Wenchang could will allow their payload to be increased by more than 300 kg, 7.4 percent more than from any of the other three centers.

Source: Xinhua News Agency


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
China National Space Administration
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
DRAGON SPACE
United Nations and China agree to increased space cooperation
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Jun 24, 2016
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) have agreed to work together to develop the space capabilities of United Nations Member States via opportunities on-board China's future space station. Following the signing of a Framework Agreement and a Funding Agreement earlier this year, Wu Ping, Deputy Director General of CMSA, presente ... read more


DRAGON SPACE
Russia to spend $60M in 2016-2018 to fund space voyages to Moon, Mars

Russian Moon Base to Hold Up to 12 People

US may approve private venture moon mission: report

Fifty Years of Moon Dust

DRAGON SPACE
Curiosity Mars Rover Enters Precautionary Safe Mode

Scientists' Innovation Began With 'Wanting to Understand Why'

Opportunity finishing science investigations at the center of Marathon Valley

Moons of Mars probably formed by giant impact

DRAGON SPACE
Exploring inner space for outer space

Quantum technologies to revolutionize 21st century

Blue Origin has fourth successful rocket booster landing

TED Talks aim for wider global reach

DRAGON SPACE
China to launch its largest carrier rocket later this year

China committed to peaceful use of outer space

China to launch second space lab Tiangong-2 in September

Upgraded "space shuttle bus" aboard new carrier rocket

DRAGON SPACE
Three astronauts blast off for ISS in upgraded Soyuz craft

Soyuz-FG to launch new crew to ISS fully assembled

Down to Earth: Returned astronaut relishes little things

NASA Ignites Fire Experiment Aboard Space Cargo Ship

DRAGON SPACE
Russia to Continue Rocket Engine Supplies to US Under Existing Contracts

India launches 20 satellites in single mission

LSU Chemistry Experiment Aboard Historic Suborbital Space Flight

Spaceflight contracts India's PSLV to launch 12 Planet Dove nanosats

DRAGON SPACE
Lush Venus? Searing Earth? It could have happened

Teenagers at Keele University Discover Possible New Exoplanet

A surprising planet with three suns

What Happens When You Steam a Planet

DRAGON SPACE
A little impurity makes nanolasers shine

Russian Scientists Propose Charging Satellites Using Land-Based Lasers

Penn chemists establish fundamentals of ferroelectric materials

New mid-infrared laser system could detect atmospheric chemicals




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement