China sends Long March 6A on maiden flight

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2022-03-29 19:07
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A Long March 6A carrier rocket carrying satellites blasts off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in North China's Shanxi province, March 29, 2022. [Photo by Zheng Taotao/Provided to]

China conducted the maiden flight of the Long March 6A carrier rocket on Tuesday afternoon at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The 50-meter rocket blasted off at 5:50 pm and then roared into the dusk. It transported two satellites – Pujiang 2 and Tiankun 2 – to their orbit, the State-owned space contractor said in a statement.

The launch marked the 412th flight of the Long March rocket family and the seventh space mission by China in 2022.

Developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, the Long March 6A is a medium-lift rocket and consists of a 50-meter, liquid-propelled core booster and four solid-fuel side boosters. The core booster has a diameter of 3.35 meters and will be propelled by two 120-ton-thrust engines burning liquid oxygen and kerosene.

The rocket has a liftoff weight of 530 metric tons and will be tasked with transporting satellites to multiple types of orbit, including sun-synchronous, low-Earth and intermediate circular orbit.

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