KT-1 (Kaituozhe) Space Launch Vehicle
China's Space Solid Fuel Rocket Carrier company (SSRC) developed a small commercial satellite launch vehicle, called KT-1 (Kaituozhe-1). 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. Although the KT-1 was widely reported to be based on the solid rocket motors of the DF-31 ICBM, the second stage of the KT-1 clearly has a much smaller diameter than the DF-31 second stage [which is the same 2 meters as the first stage of both vehicles]. But the 20 meter length is rather unwieldy [roughly twice the length of the DF-21 intermediate range missile],
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.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the then holding company for the space industry had been discussing the development of a commercial solid rocket based on the Julang 1 and Dongfeng 21 medium-range missiles. However, these plans found no support from the Chinese leadership. Finally, the China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation (since July 2001 " China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation " or CASIC), which emerged on July 1, 1999 from the umbrella company for the space industry, founded space travel on May 26, 2000 from its own resources - Space Solid Fuel Rocket Carrier Co. Ltd. (SSRC). This was a consortium of four subsidiaries of the group:
- China Space Sanjiang Group Corporation , Wuhan
- Defense Technology Academy , Beijing
- Chinese Academy for Drive Technology or "Sixth Academy", Hohhot
- Aerosun, Nanjing
When the SSRC was founded, the China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation, i.e. the parent company of the above companies, was the sole shareholder.  The Machinery and Electronics Corporation was a company the sole state ownership (since 2003 " Central Managed Companies "). This means that it, like its subsidiary SSRC, which it founded in May 2000, was subordinate to the State Council of the People's Republic of China through the Commission for the Control and Administration of State Assets . The SSRC was a so-called "State-owned Enterprise".
Legal representative of the newly founded SOE based in the Beijing district of Haidian- in the building complex of the China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation, Fucheng 8 - was Yin Xingliang (1953-2010), deputy general director of Aerospace Machinery and Electronics and chairman of the board of Harbin Fenghua Aerospace HiTech Ltd. established on January 27, 1999 by the then space holding company was founded together with six other companies. On November 24, 2000, Fenghua Aerospace and Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation agreed to participate in the latter company, which was to be accomplished by swapping subsidiaries. This was approved by the Fenghua Shareholders' Meeting on December 30, 2000.
It was planned to develop space-solid launcher rockets based on the intercontinental ballistic missile Dongfeng 31 (DF-31), placing small satellites of up to 100 kg mass into a polar orbit kg and up to 300 in one could carry near-earth orbit. Since all four stages worked with solid propellants, all of which were developed by the Sixth Academy, there was no need for complex refueling systems on the launch pad. Nevertheless, the original share capital of the SOE was far from sufficient. In December 2000, a capital increase took place in which the China Aerospace Machinery and Electronics Corporation brought additional money into the SOE, while its subsidiaries contributed intellectual property. This increased the registered capital of the GmbH to 101,540,000 yuan and the Sanjiang Group etc. were now also formally involved as shareholders in the SSRC.
Unlike its sister company China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation , whose ChangZheng rockets have been funded under the 863 program since 1986, CASIC received no state support for its project. The companies involved in SSRC were all long -established state-owned companies - Aerosun was founded in 1865 as the Jinling Engineering Office - those via Julang 1 or Dongfeng 11 had decades of experience in construction of large solid rocket rockets.
In addition to space flight activities, SSRC also made at least one non-industry investment: on July 6, 2000, six weeks after its founding, it used two million yuan to set up the Beijing Yinrongtong technology investment consultancy, an enterrpise with Chen Jun, the managing director of SSRC, as the legal representative, plus four employees and the stated corporate goal of developing and selling computers, office supplies and similar things.
A first attempt at launch took place on September 15, 2002 from the Taiyuan Cosmodrome. The payload was the 36 kg technology test satellite Kaituo-1 PS-1. 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. Even for the second launch of the rocket, the company could not win any commercial customers. The start attempt was made on September 16, 2003, also in Taiyuan. This time, the fourth stage failed, so that the satellite could not be brought into orbit. From July 2004 a third satellite was built by CASIC Satellite - Kaituo-1 PS-3 - which was completed in September of that year. 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. There are indications that another payload could have been lost in another failed launch of kaituozhe-1 on 9 June of 2005.
On September 27, 2003, less than two weeks after the failed launch attempt on 16 September 2003, SSRC also used 50 million yuan to establish CASIC Aerospace Engineering Launch Vehicle Launch System Technology Co., Ltd, again with Chen Jun as managing director, plus six other employees. About three months later, on December 12, 2003, 35.13 million yuan from the registered capital of the newly formed company was replaced with natural products and unpatented technology. At 70.26%, this was somewhat above the limit of 70% provided for in the Corporation Act of the People's Republic of China.
After at least two flight failures with no successful missions, the KT-1 seemed to fade away.
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