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CZ-6 Unmanned Space Launch Vehicle

The Long March 6 is a high-speed response launch vehicle capable of placing a payload of about 1 metric ton into a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 700 km. The new engine, which has been developed by the academy since 2000, will use liquid oxygen and kerosene as its propellants, meaning it is much more eco-friendly than current engines. The new engine has a thrust that is 60 percent greater than current ones and can carry a payload 2.5 times larger than its predecessors. Developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, the liquid-fuelled carrier rocket has only a modest lift capability of some 1080 kg.

China will soon conduct the first flight of the Long March 6 launch vehicle using the country's new-generation rocket engine, according to a senior scientist 10 March 2015. "A launch of the Long March 6 is planned in the middle of the year and it will use the newly developed 120-ton-thrust engine as its main propulsion," said Tan Yonghua, president of the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology and a national lawmaker.

An astronautical researcher close to the nation's space program said China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp developed the Long March 6 in an attempt to gain more foreign contracts for launching lightweight satellites. "Many satellites weighing less than 1 ton are soon expected to enter service, so the rocket doesn't need to have a heavy payload capacity," the researcher said 10 March 2015 on condition of anonymity. "Therefore, if we continued to use our current rockets to launch them, it would be a huge waste. The Long March 6 will fill the gap in our rocket family."

The Long March-6 carrier rocket lifted off from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in north China's Shanxi Province at 7 a.m. Beijing time on September 20, 2015. The 20 satellites, including nine amateur radio satellites, were developed by a number of universities and space research institutes across China. The satellites separated from the rocket 15 minutes after blasting off from Taiyuan.

LM-6 Unmanned SLV

This kerosene liquid oxygen series of boosters in all cases are to do the building block technology demonstration path finding hard development work for the benefit of the Long March-5 medium heavy lift booster series.

This launch vehicle will be used strictly for carrying unmanned launches with a smaller diameter payload shroud. This will give the booster a payload capacity on the order of 500 kilograms. reports that the rocket is capable of sending 1,000~1,500kg payload into the 700km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) and supports multiple payloads on a single rocket. This booster series has had it entire inertial guidance and flight avionics control systems totally redesigned for greater accuracy and safety. The two stage booster is based on the Long March-5, 2.25 meter diameter strap-on boosters. Its first stage will utilize a single 120 tons thrust YF-100 kerosene liquid oxygen propellants engine. That gives it a total liftoff thrust on the order of 120 metric tons. What it will utilize for its second stage has not yet been identified but could be the 2.25 meter diameter liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen third stage of the Long March-3, 3A series. Its first flight test is expected in the 2009-2010 time period.

The 2006 Chinese Government White Paper on space stated that Long March-6 will be a new type of high-speed response launch vehicle, which will be capable of placing not less than 1 ton of payload into a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 700 km. reports that the rocket was designed to be capable of ‘rapid launch’. The rocket will be assembled in the factory and transported to the launch site in one piece. The rocket is then fuelled in the horizontal position, before being erected on the launch pad ready for launch. The whole launch campaign only requires 5~7 days.

On September 6th 2009 China's National Space Administration announced that it had started the development of the (Long March) CZ-6 boosters with its expected launch scheduled for the middle of the next five year plan during 2013. It is being lead by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation utilizing the existing industrial base for hardware construction development.

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Page last modified: 01-05-2016 20:05:25 ZULU