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China successfully launches new Long March 7A rocket

The new colonial movement: China today successfully launched for the first time its new Long March 7A rocket, likely designed to replace its Long March 3B.

The Long March 7A is a 60.1-meter-long, 3.35-meter-diameter kerosene and liquid oxygen launch vehicle with four side boosters, capable of delivering up to 7 metric tons of payload to GTO [geosychronoous transfer orbit]. The launcher draws on new kerosene engine technologies along with a stage modified from the older Long March 3B series, China’s current workhorse rocket, boosting China’s launch options to GTO.

The Long March 7A is more capable than the Long March 3B, which can launch 5.5 tons to GTO. By launching from the coast, it also does not incur the cost and hazards of the inland 3B launches. [China] plans to carry out 3-5 Long March 7A launches a year by 2025. The first launch of the Long March 7A failed in March 2020. A loss of pressure occurred after first stage separation, which led to engine malfunction.

The 2021 launch race:

7 SpaceX
5 China
3 Russia
1 Rocket Lab
1 Virgin Orbit
1 Northrop Grumman
1 India

The U.S. still leads China 10 to 5 in the national rankings.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • MDN


    GTO is an intermediate orbit used to position satellites for Transfer to geosynchronous orbit, not a true geosynchonous orbit itself. As such some of the GTO mass must be reserved for transfer propellent, so the total paylod that can be placed in a to true geosynchronous orbit will be lower.

  • MDN: Yeah you are right. I had left out “transfer” and have added it.

  • “The launcher draws on new[ly] [aquired] kerosene engine technologies, . . “

  • Jeff Wright

    They could have had an HLLV had they stuck with hypergols with RD-27O in a nine engine R-56 monoblock design. Easier re-start.

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