Tag Archives: Long March 3B

China launches two GPS-style satellites

In launching two more GPS-style satellites with its Long March 3B rocket, China today also did their first test of equipment to be used in a parachute system designed to recover the rocket’s first stage.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) confirmed the mission to be a success four hours later, following direct insertion of the Beidou-3 satellites into their intended medium Earth orbits (MEO).

The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) which developed the Long March 3B rocket reported that data logging and active tracking equipment was placed aboard for tests to determine to altitude and timing for future parachute landings for boosters.

The trial phase of parachute booster landings is expected in 2019. Expended rocket boosters frequently land in or near populated areas downrange of Xichang.

It is about time. The article also included a short video showing the booster wreakage that landed near a town during a previous launch. For any nation to allow rocket stages crashing near habitable areas speaks poorly of that nation.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race:

28 China
17 SpaceX
8 Russia
7 ULA
6 Europe (Arianespace)

In the national rankings China leads the U.S. now 28 to 25. I must add that with every launch China is setting a new record for itself in its annual totals. Previously its highest total of launches in a year had been 20.

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An update on China’s Chang’e-4 lunar lander

Link here. Chang’e-4 is set to land on the far side of the Moon, sometime in December. The article provides some additional details, including information about the likely landing site in Von Kármán crater. It also notes that there are three launches planned at the spaceport prior to the December launch, and that any issue on any of those launches could delay Chang’e-4’s lift-off. .

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China’s Long March 3B rocket successfully launches two GPS-type satellites

The new colonial movement: China today successfully launched two more of its Beidou GPS-type satellites, using its Long March 3B rocket.

The rocket launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China, and almost certainly dropped its stages near habitable regions, as happened in June. The question is whether China has successfully clamped down on the distribution of any images of such events, taken by local residents. It failed to do so in June.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race:

25 China
16 SpaceX
8 Russia
7 ULA
5 Europe (Arianespace)

This launch puts China once again in the lead over the U.S. in the national rankings, 25 to 24. Moreover, with every launch this year China extends its new record for the most launches by that nation in a year.

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China launches two GPS-type satellites with Long March 3B

The new colonial movement: China yesterday launched two GPS-type satellites with its Long March 3B rocket.

The leaders in the 2018 launch race:

23 China
15 SpaceX
8 Russia
6 ULA
5 Arianespace (Europe)

The national rankings China now leads the U.S. 23 to 22.

Update: With this launch China has set a new national record for launches in a single year.

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China’s Long March 3B rocket puts communications satellite in orbit

China successfully placed a communications satellite into orbit yesterday using its Long March 3B rocket, that country’s second most powerful rocket.

The article says that the Long March 3B is China’s most powerful rocket, but I think this is based on the assumption that the Long March 5 is not yet operational. Since the 5 has had one successful launch, I am counting it as the most powerful, with the 3B second.

The updated leader list for the 2018 launch standings:

13 China
8 SpaceX
5 Russia
4 ULA.

China now leads the U.S. 13 to 12 in the national rankings. I expect these numbers to change a lot in May.

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China successfully launches two GPS satellites

China’s Long March 3B rocket today successfully launched two GPS satellites.

The launch occurred much earlier today, but China kept quiet about it until much later, when they knew the satellites had finally reached their correct orbits.

This was the third successfully launch today. The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

9 China
5 SpaceX
4 Russia
3 Japan
3 ULA
2 Europe
2 India

These standings will change even more in the next few days. China has another launch scheduled for the weekend, and SpaceX has one tomorrow and another on Monday.

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China successfully launches Algerian communications satellite

China today successfully launched an Algerian communications satellite using its Long March 3B rocket.

China continues to roar up from behind in the race to complete the most launches in 2017. Only a month ago it was far behind. Now, it trails SpaceX by only one launch.

27 United States
18 Russia
16 SpaceX
15 China

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Did China experience a launch failure today?

The status of a Chinese launch attempt of a communications satellite today remains unknown, hours after launch.

China launched its seventh mission of 2017 on Sunday, lofting the Zhongxing-9A (ChinaSat-9A) communications satellite, but -unusually – there has been no official status update in over three hours since liftoff. The Long March 3B/G2 lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the hills of Sichuan Province at 00:12 local time on monday (16:12 UTC, 12:12 EDT on Sunday), following on from Thursday’s launch of the country’s first space observatory.

Apparent video footage and locals on social media surprised by the rumbling of the launch vehicle confirmed liftoff. However, official confirmation of launch success, often within an hour, has not followed, bringing speculation of some degree of failure.

Nothing has as yet been confirmed, so this launch might not be a failure.

Update: A problem with the third stage placed the satellite in the wrong orbit.

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