China’s first sea launch
(5 May 2019 - Great Wall Motor) At 12:06 on June 5, 2019, CZ-11 Solid-fuel Space Launch Vehicle (CZ-11 WEY) sees its first sea launch on the Yellow Sea, successfully sending seven commercial satellites into a circular orbit of about 600 kilometers, including Bufeng No.1 A/B Satellite, China125 No. 1 A/B Satellite, Jilin No. 1 High-definition 03A Satellite, Tianqi No. 3 Satellite and Xiaoxiang No. 1 04 Satellite.
CZ-11 WEY launch (courtesy: Great Wall Motor)
This launch has not only filled the gap in the sea launch of Chinese launch vehicles, but also provided a new safer, more flexible, economical and efficient launch mode for China’s rapid entry into the space, and further expanded China’s aerospace transportation system. CZ-11 Space Launch Vehicle is the first and only type of solid-fuel launch vehicles in the CZ Launch Vehicle Family. It is nearly 21 meters long and 58 tons weigh. Boasting a take-off thrust of 120 tons, it can carry up to 500 kg of payloads into the sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 500 km. Up to now, CZ-11 Space Launch Vehicle has completed seven launches on the land and sea, and succeeded in the maiden launch and consecutive launch. Boasting no problem on products mounted on the launch vehicle, no delay of launch plan and no failure of flight process for consecutive seven times, and CZ-11 Space Launch Vehicle has demonstrated outstanding performance and reliability.
Compared with the traditional land launch, the sea launch is a safe, flexible, economical and efficient launch mode. It can not only effectively address the demand for satellites launched at an inclination of 0-19° which Chinese land launch sites are unable to satisfy, but also provide optional launch points in the eastern and southern seas of China. This mode attracts profound engagement of social resources, effectively integrates the aerospace technology with ocean engineering, forms a more economical and efficient new launch mode, and promotes the high-quality development of the society and economy.