KT-1 (Kaituozhe) Space Launch Vehicle
China's Space Solid Fuel Rocket Carrier company (SSRC) is developing a small commercial satellite launch vehicle, called KT-1 (Kaituozhe-1), based on the solid rocket motors of the DF-31 ICBM. Capable of placing spacecraft up to 0.3 tons into LEO or 0.1 ton into 500 km polar orbit, the booster is a 20-meter tall four-stage design with two solid upper stages. The 2.0-meter diameter first stage features four nozzles. The total launch mass is 13.6 tons.
Yin Xingliang, Vice President of CAMEC (China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation) stated in early 2001 that CAMEC was developing the Kaituozhe-1 solid-propellant launch vehicle which could be launched from a mobile, truck-based platform, "anywhere in the country". Development of the launcher is "in progress" and the vehicle could be tested as early as 2002.
The maiden flight of the Kaituozhe-1 from Taiyuan failed to place a 50 kg satellite HTSTL into 300 km polar orbit on 15 September 2002 due to a second stage malfunction.
The KT-1, made its second launch on 16 September 2003 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Chinese officials claimed that the launch was successful in "R&D standard". The official report said that its guidance system, fairing separation and satellite-launcher separation work well but also admitted that "not all objectives" were achieved. According to information revealed earlier, the launcher was to put the 40-kg PS2 satellite into the 300km circular orbit. So far it has had at least two flight failures with no successful missions.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|