Space

China has deployed the Long March 7A after the first attempt went berserk

Summary

China deployed the next-generation Long March 7A rocket this week. The country launched the experimental cargo through the rocket to the geosynchronous orbit. The departure happened from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. The country’s leading space agency, China Aerospace Science […]

China deployed the next-generation Long March 7A rocket this week. The country launched the experimental cargo through the rocket to the geosynchronous orbit. The departure happened from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. The country’s leading space agency, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), confirmed the deployment of the mission after 40 minutes. The rocket will be deploying the Shiyan-9 payload. This technology verification satellite is a product of the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The satellite will be for verification procedures for in-orbit missions trying new technologies like space environmental observation. CASC revealed this detail, withholding the rest of the details for confidential purposes.

The Long March 7A rocket is an over 60 meters rocket with 3.35 meters in diameter which will be running on kerosene and liquid oxygen. The engineers explained that it has four boosters and will be releasing about 7 metric tons of cargo to the geostationary orbit. The rocket will be running on kerosene engines developed as an imitation of the Long March 3B rocket, which performed extremely well in its period. This rocket is opening new avenues for the country to deploy its experimental payloads to the geostationary transfer orbit. The selection of the coast as a launching site is strategically for minimizing the cost and hazards associated with launching from the inland.

CASC intends to deploy about 3 to 5 Long March 7A deployments every year until 2025. Additionally, the rocket will also be used for moon and deep space missions, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). The Long March 7A rocket first took to space missions in March last year, where it failed due to pressure loss at the first separation stage. This technical error led to engine malfunction and eventual loss of the rocket. The Long March 7A rocket is an upgrade of the Long March 7 rocket. The initial version has made two missions and is ideal for deploying cargo spacecraft to China’s space station.

The rocket boasts of the advanced kerolox and hydrolox systems that China developed by 2020. These systems characterized the Long March series that shined in the Chinese space industry through the previous decade. The advantage of these new rockets is that they are disposable with ease eliminating the space debris accumulation problem. Nevertheless, the agency is developing the Long March 8 rocket, which will have a retrievable first stage. Other launches will take place in April, as the deployment of the Long March 5B rocket from Wenchang.

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