2023 Author: Bryan Walter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 22:24
The Chinese private company LandSpace has completed the assembly of a three-stage light launch vehicle ZQ-1, which will be able to launch cargo weighing up to 300 kilograms into low-earth orbit, Ecns reports. The first launch of a rocket with a research satellite on board is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.
In 2014, the Chinese authorities allowed private companies to engage in space launches and satellites. After that, several dozen companies appeared in the country developing launch vehicles for commercial space launches. Some companies have already shown the results of their work, however, so far only in the form of reduced prototypes of orbital rockets or launches of suborbital rockets that are not capable of entering low-Earth orbit - for example, in May, OneSpace launched the first OS-X suborbital rocket.
LandSpace also builds private launch vehicles in China. It is developing two launch vehicles of different classes - ZQ-1 and ZQ-2. The first of them belongs to the light class and is capable of launching a payload weighing 300 kilograms into a low reference orbit with an altitude of 200 kilometers, and a rocket with a mass of 200 kilograms into a sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 500 kilometers. The rocket consists of three stages, with all three using solid propellant engines. The rocket is 19 meters high and has a take-off weight of 27 tons.
Launch vehicle ZQ-1
The rocket has been in development for several years and now LandSpace has shown the first copy that was assembled at its plant. The rocket is still being prepared by specialists for the first launch, which is to take place in the fourth quarter of 2018. The satellite of the China Central Television company, intended for remote sensing of the Earth, will be used as a payload. The rocket should put it into a sun-synchronous orbit.
In addition to the ZQ-1 light rocket, LandSpace is also developing the ZQ-2 rocket. It can be classified as light or middle class, because it is capable of launching a payload weighing up to 4 tons into low-earth orbit. It will use methane liquid propellant rocket engines. While the rocket is at the design stage and its first launch is tentatively scheduled for 2020.
In addition to LandSpace, there are other companies in China that have achieved intermediate successes in the development of orbital launch vehicles. For example, LinkSpace, which is developing the Newline-1 light-class rocket with a reversible first stage, has created several prototypes of the first stage, in which it works out the technology of soft landing after launch:
Also, China is conducting state-owned development of launch vehicles. For example, recently it became known that the promising medium-class launch vehicle Changzheng-8 will receive a first stage adapted for reuse. After separation from the second stage, it will land on engines similar to the landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9. In addition, China is going to create a super-heavy launch vehicle "Changzheng-9", but this project is still at an early stage and the first launch is scheduled for 2030 year