China Plans First Seaborne Rocket Launch in Mid-2019

China plans to conduct the seaborne rocket launch with a Long March-11 carrier rocket from the Yellow Sea.

2 min read
A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China plans to conduct its first seaborne rocket launch with a Long March-11 carrier rocket from the Yellow Sea in the middle of this year, said Jin Xin, the deputy chief commander of the rocket.

China has achieved a breakthrough in the key technologies for seaborne launches, Jin, of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, told a press conference.

The Long March-11, with a length of 20.8 meters and a take-off weight of about 57.6 tonnes, is the only rocket using solid propellants among China's new generation carrier rockets. It has a relatively simple structure and can be launched in a short time, state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

After leaving port, the rocket could be launched within a week, Jin said.


The rocket can carry a payload of up to 350 kg to a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700-km and 700 kg to a low-Earth orbit at 200-km. It is mainly used to carry small satellites, and can take multiple satellites into orbit at the same time.

A seaborne launch has many advantages over a land launch, Jin said. For instance, the launch site is flexible, and falling rocket pose less danger.

Using civilian ships to launch rockets at sea would lower launch costs and give it a commercial edge, said Jin.

It will also help lay the groundwork for developing reusable rockets and recovery technologies at sea.

The seaborne launch technology will help China provide launch services for countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.

Another three Long March-11 launches on land are also planned this year.

The Long March-11, which made its maiden flight on September 25, 2015, has so far sent 25 satellites into orbit in six launches with high reliability and good performance rates.

China recently successfully launched a lander and rover on the dark side of the moon, becoming the first country to attempt the complex manoeuvre. Also China plans to 30 plus space launches this year.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!