Launch of China’s largest solid-fuel rocket was a success

The Chinese operator CAS Space has announced the successful first launch of the solid-fuel rocket “Lijian-1”. It has put six cargoes into a sun-synchronous orbit: the SATech-01 spacecraft, as well as five small companion satellites.

Lijian-1 rocket on the launch pad. Source: CAS Space

The Lijian-1 rocket was created on the basis of the Chinese intercontinental ballistic rocket DF-31. It has a four-stage design. Its length is 30 m, diameter — 2.65 m, take-off weight — 135 tons. It can put up to 1.5 tons of cargo into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. To date, the Lijiang-1 is the most powerful orbital carrier of the PRC, powered by solid fuel.

CAS Space was taken out of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2018. The company develops launch vehicles, satellites and other space technology. In addition to solid-fuel rockets, CAS Space is also developing liquid engines designed for reusable carriers. It is worth noting that the company’s website contains renderings of rockets designed by it, the designs of which resemble the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. 

The company is also engaged in the creation of a suborbital tourist system resembling the New Shepard rocket. At the moment, its first test launch is scheduled for 2024.

Earlier we wrote about the imminent fall to Earth of the 23-ton stage of the Changzheng-5B rocket.

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