Tag Archives: Long March 5

China successfully launches three satellites

China today ended a long pause in launches since the failure of its Long March 5 rocket in July and placed in orbit three military satellites using a smaller rocket not used since 2004.

The use of such a rocket is most intriguing. Meanwhile, no word yet on when launches will resume on their other more up-to-date rockets, including their new and most powerful Long March 5.

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Long March 5 failure to delay Chinese lunar probes and space station

The July launch failure of China’s largest rocket, Long March 5, is going to cause delays to both its lunar and space station programs.

They have not yet finished their investigation into the failure, and are now admitting that the launch of Chang’e-5, a lunar sample return mission, will not occur this year as planned, and that the launch of their space station core module will be delayed into 2019.

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China successfully completes third robotic docking

China’s Tianzhou-1 test cargo freighter successfully completed its third docking with the prototype test space station module Tiangong-2 today.

Commands for the rendezvous and docking were issued at 17:24 Beijing time, according to the China Manned Space Agency, with the new ‘fast’ process taking 6.5 hours to complete.

Previously the rendezvous and docking process took around two days, or 30 orbits. The breakthrough will be used to allow crewed Shenzhou craft to reach the future Chinese Space Station (CSS) much sooner after launch.

Tianzhou-1 will soon perform a third and final refuelling test with Tiangong-2, before the cargo spacecraft is carefully deorbited over the South Pacific.

No word yet on when China might resume launches however. Since the July launch failure of their largest rocket, Long March 5, the country has launched nothing. There have also been stories that suggest the planned December launch of their Chang’e 5 lunar mission will be delayed now until the spring.

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Long March 5 failure occurred at satellite separation

This story notes that the failure of the Long March 5 launch occurred 30 minutes after launch, when the second stage and the satellite were due to separate.

The link also includes footage of the launch through first stage separation and ignition of second stage engines.

It appears therefore that the failure was not in the Long March 5 rocket itself. When satellite separation occurs the second stage has completed its work, so the rocket apparently did its job getting the satellite into orbit. What happened next however remains unknown.

Based on this information it would appear that this failure might not delay later launches of the Long March 5 that much.

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China’s second launch of its Long March 5 rocket fails

The new colonial movement: China has announced that the second launch of its Long March 5 rocket was a failure.

They have provided no other details. Since this is the rocket that they plan to use to launch their space station modules as well as launch this year’s unmanned lunar mission, this failure is probably going to impact those schedules.

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China’s new big rocket set for launch Thursday

The competition heats up: The first launch of China’s new big rocket, Long March 5, is now scheduled for Thursday morning at 10 universal time, 5:30 am Eastern.

The Long March 5 is comparable to the most powerful active rockets in the world such as the Delta-IV Heavy, Atlas V and Ariane 5, and will launch the technology experiment satellite Shijian-17 high into to geosynchronous. At more than 800 tonnes, 53 metres in height and with a 5 metre diameter core, the Long March 5 has been designed to launch the 20-tonne modules of China’s planned space station into low Earth orbit, starting with the core module in 2018.

The countdown and fueling have begun.

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First Long March 5 begins assembly

The competition heats up: China has begun assembly of its first Long March 5 rocket, set for launch in September.

Yang Hujun, vice chief engineer, has spoken about the next steps for the Long March-5 project. “After the assembly is finished in the first half of this year, it will take a little more than a month to test it to ensure that the product is in good shape. The first launch will be made after it is out of the plant in the latter half of the year. “

The rocket will be able to put about 25 tons into orbit, making it one of the most powerful rockets in the world. They plan to use it on its first launch to put their next space station into orbit.

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China to launch full space station in 2018

The competition heats up: China has announced that it will launch the first module of its full space station, named Tianhe-1, in 2018.

The article also gives an short summary of China’s space plans in 2016:

2016 will also be a busy and crucial year for China. Assembly of its second space lab, Tiangong-2, has been completed and the space station prototype will launch in September. This is set to be followed a month later by the Shenzhou-11 crewed mission with two Chinese astronauts. It will also debut new launch vehicles, the Long March 5 and 7, which will greatly increase the country’s launch capabilities.

Long March 5 is capable of putting 25 tons in orbit, making it comparable to Boeing’s Delta 4 Heavy, the most powerful rocket presently operational.

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China to launch new rocket today

The competition heats up: With the expected first launch of China’s new Long March 6 rocket today, this report nicely outlines the status of the country’s rocket program.

Like Russia’s Angara and SpaceX’s Falcon, the new generation of Long March rockets are modular and use the same rocket engine. This has reduced cost and allows for faster assembly. The launch today is the maiden flight of the smaller member of this family. The key launch will be that of the larger Long March 5, scheduled for next year. Capable of putting 25 tons in orbit (five more than Proton), this is the rocket they plan to use to launch the modules for their full-sized space station.

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China’s new spaceport and the giant rocket it is being built for.

The competition heats up: China’s new spaceport and the giant rocket it is being built for.

The combination of the planned rocket, called the Long March 5 — and its derivatives — matched with the Wenchang Launch Center, China’s new sprawling spaceport, underscores the country’s shifting space gears. It enables China’s space station ambitions, while also boosting the nation’s plans for interplanetary exploration, as well as accomplishing human treks to the moon.

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