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Rocket maker working on medium-lift model
File image of the ZK 1A carrier rocket that will be replaced by the Kinetica 2.
Rocket maker working on medium-lift model
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jan 15, 2024

CAS Space, a Beijing-based rocket maker owned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is working on the development of its new carrier rocket, Kinetica 2, and plans to conduct the new type's maiden flight in 2025, according to the company.

The Kinetica 2 is a medium-lift, liquid-fuel rocket and the second launch vehicle developed by CAS Space, following the Kinetica 1, formerly known as ZK 1A.

Yang Haoliang, vice-president of CAS Space, said on Friday that the 53-meter model will consist of a multi-stage core booster, which has a diameter of 3.35 meters, and two side boosters.

Its liftoff weight will be 628 metric tons and the maximum thrust will be 766 tons, he said, noting that the rocket will be able to transport spacecraft with a combined weight of 7.8 tons into a sun-synchronous orbit or 12 tons into a low-Earth orbit.

"The Kinetica 2 will feature strong transport capacity, high reliability, and good operational economy, and will be capable of sending payloads into multiple types of orbits," Yang said. "We hope it could become a major launch vehicle for the deployment of China's low-cost cargo spaceships, space-based internet network as well as science satellites."

According to Yang, the rocket model's first flight, due for 2025, will be tasked with transporting a prototype low-cost cargo vessel into space.

The cargo vessel is being designed by the Shanghai-based Innovation Academy for Microsatellites of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and will be used by the China Manned Space Agency to ferry necessities between Earth and the country's Tiangong space station, CAS Space said in a news release.

So far, the company, established in December 2018, has carried out two launch missions with its Kinetica 1 model. The third Kinetica 1 flight has been scheduled to take place this month to place five satellites into orbit.

CAS Space has built a rocket plant in Guangzhou's Nansha district, the first of its kind in South China's Guangdong province, and is currently constructing a rocket engine testing facility in Aotou township in Guangzhou.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

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