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Long March 6C rocket joins fleet with successful inaugural launch
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Long March 6C rocket joins fleet with successful inaugural launch
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) May 08, 2024

China's Long March 6C rocket successfully completed its first flight on Tuesday, deploying four satellites into orbit.

Launching at 11:21 am from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center located in a mountainous area of Shanxi province, the 43-meter-tall rocket successfully placed a radar satellite, an optical remote-sensing satellite, and two experimental satellites into their designated orbits. This operation was announced by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, the developer of the rocket model and part of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The two-stage rocket measures 3.35 meters in diameter and is powered by three engines that use liquid oxygen and kerosene as fuel.

With a total launch weight of 215 metric tons, the Long March 6C can carry payloads weighing up to 2.4 tons to a standard sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers, as detailed by Li Chenggang, the chief designer at the Shanghai academy.

Li noted that development for this new rocket model began in early 2020 and is primarily intended to serve commercial space companies by delivering their small to mid-sized satellites into sun-synchronous orbits.

The Long March series, which has now expanded to include more than 20 types of rockets, remains a central component of China's space exploration efforts, having completed over 520 launches. With this successful launch, the Long March 6C has joined 16 other active rockets in the fleet.

Related Links
Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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