China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket launches two satellites

Early today China’s smallsat Kuaizhou-1A rocket successfully launched two “experimental” satellites into orbit from an interior spaceport.

The satellites are part of a classified program, so little is known about them.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

43 SpaceX
39 China
12 Russia
7 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise still leads China 60 to 39 in the national rankings and the entire world combined 60 to 59.

Tomorrow ABL Space will attempt to launch from Alaska its RS1 smallsat rocket for the first time. Later in the week Firefly will make its second attempt to launch its Alpha rocket successfully. I will embed the live streams, if available.

China launches two satellites with its Kuaizhou-1A rocket

China today successfully placed what it labeled as “two test satellites” into orbit using its smallsat Kuaizhou-1A rocket.

No information at all was released about both satellites.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

40 SpaceX
35 China
11 Russia
6 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads China 55 to 35 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 55 to 53.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket launches satellite

China today successfully used its smallsat Kuaizhou-1A rocket to launch what appears to be a technology test satellite for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

As the launch was from an interior spaceport in China, the rocket’s first stages crashed somewhere inland.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

37 SpaceX
32 China
11 Russia
6 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise still leads China 52 to 32 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 52 to 50.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A smallsat rocket launches technology test satellite

China today used its smallsat solid rocket Kuaizhou-1A to put a technology test satellite into orbit.

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket is not the same as the Kuaizhou-11 rocket, which some have speculated exploded during a static fire test in the fall of ’21. Both are part of a family of rockets designed for fast launch.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

26 SpaceX
19 China
8 Russia
3 Rocket Lab

The U.S. still leads China 35 to 19 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 35 to 31.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket fails during launch

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket experienced its second launch failure on December 14th, though few details about what went wrong have been released.

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket is built by one of China’s pseudo-private companies, Expace.

Expace had been encouraged by three successful Kuaizhou-1A launches across September, October and November, which followed the Kuaizhou-1A being grounded for one year as a result of a failure in September 2020.

Since the rocket’s first three stages use solid rocket motors, it must have been derived from military missile technology. Thus, the company is not private, even if it has obtained Chinese private investment capital, but closely supervised by the Chinese government and its military.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket launches classified government satellite

Late yesterday China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket successfully launched classified government satellite into orbit.

The Kuaizhou rocket is supposedly operated by the pseudo private company Expace, but nothing it does happens without the approval of the Chinese government.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

44 China
26 SpaceX
20 Russia
5 Europe (Arianespace)

China now leads the U.S. 44 to 41 in the national rankings.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket successfully launches a remote sensing satellite

China’s Kuaizhou-1A smallsat solid rocket today successfully launched a commercial remote sensing satellite.

This launch, the 38th successful launch this year by China, ties its previous high in 2018. The country had two additional launches this year, but those were failures.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

38 China
23 SpaceX
17 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman
4 Arianespace (Europe)

China now leads the U.S. 38 to 36 in the national rankings.

China launches Earth observation satellite

China today successfully launched an Earth observation satellite using its smallsat Kuaizhou-1A rocket, the first launch of this quick response rocket since a failure in November 2020.
The satellite is supposedly for commercial use, but little information has been released about it and its constellation.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

33 China
23 SpaceX
15 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman

The U.S. still leads China 34 to 33 in the national rankings, with these numbers changing in a few hours should ULA successfully launch Landsat 9 using its Atlas-5 rocket.

Zhurong completes its planned 90-day mission on Mars

China’s state-run press announced today that its Mars rover Zhurong has successfully completed its planned 90-day mission, is operating without issues, and will continue its exploration of the Red Planet.

The rover has traveled 889 meters as of Aug. 15, and its scientific payloads have collected about 10 Gb of raw data. Now the rover runs stably and operates in good condition with sufficient energy. The CNSA added that the rover will continue to move to the boundary zone between the ancient sea and the ancient land in the southern part of Utopia Planitia and will carry out additional tasks.

According to the administration, Zhurong operated with a cycle of seven days during its exploration and detection. Its navigation terrain camera obtained topographic data along the way to support the rover’s path planning and detection target selection.

Zhurong’s subsurface detection radar acquired the data of the layered structure below the Martian surface, which analyzes the shallow surface structure and explores the possible underground water and ice. [emphasis mine]

This announcement reveals two tantalizing details. First, they are extending the mission, and plan to continue traveling to the south, with a very long term fantasy goal of reaching the transition zone between the northern lowland plains that Zhurong landed in and the southern cratered highlands. That fantasy goal is about 250 miles away. At the pace Zhurong is traveling, about 1,000 feet per month, it will take about a 100 years to cover that ground. Even so, as they move south they are slowly going up hill, and have the chance of seeing some change in the geology along the way.

The second tantalizing detail is indicated by the highlighted last sentence, and is probably the most important data obtained by Zhurong. It suggests they obtained good data from the rover’s ground penetrating radar, and it indicated the existence of underground layers. Whether those layers contain ice however is not clear. From the story it appears the data has not yet been analyzed enough to say.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket fails at launch

China’s Kuaizhou-1A rocket yesterday failed during launch, though no details have been released.

Kuaizhou 1A and Kuauzhou 11 are rapid response rockets derived from intercontinental ballistic missiles that are capable of placing satellites into orbit on short notice. Launches are managed by ExPace, a commercial subsidiary of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation.

The Kuaizhou-1A is the smaller of the two rockets. This was its first failure after ten successful launches.

China’s Kuaizhou-1A smallsat rocket launches two satellites

The new colonial movement: China’s Kuaizhou-1A smallsat rocket today successfully launched two experimental satellites designed to test “inter-satellite laser link technology, spaceborne digital multi-beam communication payload, and air-to-ground satellite communication.”

The quote is from the article, which appears to be nothing more than a cut-and-paste from Chinese propaganda.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

8 China
6 SpaceX
6 Russia

The U.S. continues to lead China in the national rankings, 10 to 8.

Two Chinese Kuaizhou-1A launches within six hours

The new colonial movement: China today successfully completed two separate Kuaizhou-1A launches, placing in orbit seven total smallsats and doing it within a space of only six hours.

China launched two orbital missions from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center within six hours of each other, orbiting a total of seven satellites. The launches, using mobile pads, saw two Kuaizhou-1A rockets heading into space on Saturday at 2:55 UTC and 8:52 UTC.

The first Kuaizhou-1A rocket, serial number Y2, orbited the Jilin-1 Gaofen-2B remote sensing satellite for the Jilin-1 constellation.

…Six hours after the first launch, and as was expected by the navigational warnings previously published, a second Kuaizhou-1A launch vehicle, serial number Y12, had already been displaced to the launch site, but from a different pad. Analysis of the images available from the second launch seems to indicate that launch took place from a location within the Launch Complex 16 usually used for the Long March-6 launches. Ignition came at 8:52UTC.

The three-stage launch vehicle orbited six satellites.

This achievement is a very big deal. China has demonstrated the ability to launch and then launch again quickly with this military-based mobile launch system. This not only enhances their commercial value, it tells us they have developed a military capability able to put payloads into orbit at almost a moment’s notice.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

29 China
19 Russia
12 SpaceX
7 Europe (Arianespace)
6 Rocket Lab

China now leads the U.S. 29 to 25 in the national rankings.

Second Kuaizhou-1A launch in less than a week

The new colonial movement: China today successfully completed its second Kuaizhou-1A launch in four days, placing two communications satellites into orbit.

In just a little more than a four day period, from the very same pad, with the very same launch team and launch truck, China has launched yet another Kuaizhou-1A rocket carrying satellites into orbit.

…The Kuaizhou-1A is a 4 stage, mostly solid fuel powered launch vehicle developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASIC) and commercialized by the China Space Sanjiang Group Corporation (also known as Expace Corporation).

Promoted by CASIC as being high reliability, high precision and low cost, the launch vehicle can send a 200 kg payload into a 700 km altitude sun-synchronous orbit. The vehicle is possibly based on the road-mobile DF-21 missile, with two additional solid fuel upper stages and a re-startable liquid fuel upper stage. It was designed with the goal to provide an easy to operate quick-reaction launch vehicle, that can remain in storage for long periods and to provide launch missions on short notice.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

25 China
17 Russia
11 SpaceX
6 Europe (Arianespace)

In the national rankings, China widened its lead over the U.S. to 25 to 23.

China completes two launches today

In a space of three hours today China successfully completed two launches. First, a Kuaizhou-1A rocket, intended for commercial launches, placed a civilian Earth resource satellite into orbit. Then, a Long March 6 rocket put five remote sensing satellites into orbit.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

24 China
17 Russia
11 SpaceX
6 Europe (Arianespace)

With these two launches China has leap-frogged past the U.S. to take the lead in the national rankings, 24 to 23.

China launches two smallsats

Using its Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket, China’s pseudo-private company ExSpace launched two smallsats into orbit yesterday.

This rocket, using technology developed for the military, including a mobile launch platform, is designed to compete directly with Rocket Lab and the other western private smallsat rockets trying to come on line right now. Its development appears to have been wholly funded by the Chinese government, which revealed after the launch that they plan between 8 and 9 more launches before the end of the year.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

14 Russia
14 China
10 SpaceX
6 Europe (Arianespace)
4 India
4 Rocket Lab

The U.S. continues to lead 19-14 in the national rankings.

China launches smallsat

One of China’s claimed-to-be private companies, Expace, today launched a smallsat into orbit using the Kuaizhou-1A solid-fueld rocket. .

Exspace, like OneSpace and Ispace, is considered private by the Chinese. I find it interesting however that all these private companies have remarkably similar names, and all appear to be doing military work. Even if they get private financing from Chinese investors and their management is formed independent of the government, we should not be fooled. These are wholly owned and controlled by the Chinese government. They do nothing without its knowledge and support.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race:

26 China
16 SpaceX
8 Russia
6 Europe (Arianespace)

China has widened its lead over the U.S. in the national rankings, 26 to 24.