24/7 Space News
ROCKET SCIENCE
China's methane-fueled rocket achieves global first with successful orbital insertion
The rocket, named ZQ 2 - or Rosefinch 2, blasts off at 9 am at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, July 12, 2023.
ADVERTISEMENT
     
China's methane-fueled rocket achieves global first with successful orbital insertion
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jul 14, 2023

The first successful orbital mission of a methane-fueled rocket has been accomplished by China, a significant breakthrough in the utilization of low-cost and environmentally friendly liquid propellants for carrier rockets. The rocket, known as ZQ 2 or Rosefinch 2, launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center located in China's northwestern Gobi Desert on Wednesday morning.

The Beijing-based private enterprise, LandSpace, which designed and constructed the rocket, announced that the ZQ 2 successfully delivered an experimental payload into Earth's orbit. This successful mission has set a new record by making the ZQ 2 the largest and most powerful private rocket in China.

The ZQ 2, standing at 49.5 meters and with a diameter of 3.35 meters, is of the same size as most of China's Long March-series rockets. It has a liftoff weight of 219 metric tons and can generate a launch thrust of 268 tons. The rocket is capable of placing a 4-ton satellite into a typical sun-synchronous orbit approximately 500 kilometers above Earth or a 6-ton satellite into a low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 200 kilometers.

The ZQ 2's primary propulsion system, the TQ-12, is the first of its kind in China. Prior to this, only a few US companies had developed a methane engine. Unlike conventional rocket engines, which can only function once, a methane engine is both reusable and more environmentally friendly, providing a strategic advantage for future launches.

The ZQ 2's maiden flight took place last December. Although the rocket successfully crossed the Karman Line, the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space, it malfunctioned during its second stage, resulting in a failure to reach orbit. Despite this setback, the world's first attempt to achieve orbit with a methane-fueled rocket was still considered a noteworthy attempt. The ZQ 2 had been closely competing with Relativity Space's Terran 1 and SpaceX's Starship to be the first methane-based rocket in orbit.

Production of the ZQ 2 and its engines occurs at LandSpace's factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, which is the first privately owned carrier rocket factory in China and the largest of its kind in Asia.

Wednesday's launch of the ZQ 2 marks an important step forward in the global commercial space competition, traditionally dominated by national entities. This launch signifies a major achievement for private enterprises, showing that commercial and civilian forces also have significant roles to play in this arena.

From 2015 to 2021, the commercial space sector in China has grown steadily, maintaining an average compound growth rate of 22.3 percent. It is predicted to hit 2.3 trillion yuan ($320.77 billion) by 2024.

China's commercial space industry, though a late starter, has been recording a series of successes. This pattern demonstrates the increasing importance of private enterprises in the space industry, which the successful ZQ 2 launch further highlights.

Related Links
LandSpace
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
ROCKET SCIENCE
Aerojet Rocketdyne unveils cutting-edge solid rocket motor for Kratos' Zeus Program
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 12, 2023
Aerojet Rocketdyne has reached a significant milestone in the development of the Zeus 1, an advanced stage 1 Large Solid Rocket Motor (LSRM) designed for Kratos' ambitious Zeus program. Following a successful static-fire test, the motor not only met but exceeded performance expectations, cementing its position as a game-changer in the field of hypersonic applications. The Aerojet Rocketdyne team, in collaboration with Kratos, has received high praise for this remarkable accomplishment. Eileen P. D ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ROCKET SCIENCE
Euclid's large halo around indefinitely small point

NASA expands options for spacewalking, moonwalking suits, services

Bursting the Bubble with Inflatable Habitats

Axiom Space Awarded Contract to Pursue Spacesuit Development for International Space Station

ROCKET SCIENCE
Rocket Lab readies launch of seven satellites from New Zealand

Rocket Lab to boost Synspective's satellite constellation with more launches

China's methane-fueled rocket achieves global first with successful orbital insertion

NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne put Gateway thruster system to the test

ROCKET SCIENCE
New study reveals evidence of diverse organic material on Mars

Earth and Moon seen from Mars

Planning Take Two: Sols 3885-3886

SHERLOC instrument offers new perspective on Jezero Crater, Mars

ROCKET SCIENCE
China Aerospace Foundation and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization Sign Cooperation MOU

Tianzhou 5 reconnects with Tiangong space station

China questions whether there is a new moon race afoot

Three Chinese astronauts return safely to Earth

ROCKET SCIENCE
Viasat provides status update on ViaSat-3 Americas Satellite

China begins construction of ultra-low orbit satellite constellation

CASIC plans new satellite network by 2030

ITU Radio Regulations Board approves waiver for Rivada LEO constellation

ROCKET SCIENCE
New radar technique lets scientists probe invisible ice sheet region on Earth and icy worlds

Uniting Europe: DLR Spearheads Responsive Satellite Deployment Network

DARPA seeks input on novel methods to separate, purify rare earth elements

iQPS initiates a full-scale study to leverage SkyCompass-1 optical data relay service

ROCKET SCIENCE
Study increases probability of finding water on other worlds by x100

'Like a mirror': Astronomers identify most reflective exoplanet

Astronomers discover elusive planet responsible for spiral arms around its star

Preventing interplanetary pollution that could pose a threat to life on Earth and other planets

ROCKET SCIENCE
First ultraviolet data collected by ESA's JUICE mission

Unveiling Jupiter's upper atmosphere

ASU study: Jupiter's moon Europa may have had a slow evolution

Juno captures lightning bolts above Jupiter's north pole

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.