Chinese company Space Pioneer successfully launched its Tianlong-2 rocket into orbit early on Sunday (April 2), marking the history of space exploration.
The 4:48 a.m. Beijing time launch from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia’s Gobi Desert marked the first time a liquid-fueled rocket was launched into orbit by a company. Chinese aerospace company, and also the first time a start-up company successfully reached orbit on its first attempt. The name of the Tianlong-2 rocket means “Sky Dragon-2”, according to one translation.
In addition to making history, rocket builder Space Pioneer – also known as Beijing Tianbing Technology Co. – aimed to launch a small satellite into a polar orbit around Earth that sits in a “fixed” position. ” in relation to the sun.
From this sun-synchronous orbit, the satellite, named Ai Taikong Kexue or “Love Space Science” and developed by Hunan Hangsheng Satellite Technology Co., Ltd, will test its remote sensing capabilities.
“At 4:48:15 a.m. on April 2, 2023, the Tianlong-2 Yaoyi carrier rocket independently developed by our company ignited and took off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and successfully sent the remote sensing satellite “Love Space Science” in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers. The launch mission was a complete success,” Beijing Tianbing Technology Co. wrote in a press release. (opens in a new tab).
According to Space News (opens in a new tab), Tianlong-2 is a three-stage rocket capable of delivering 2,000 kilograms (2 tons) to low Earth orbit or 1,500 kg (1.5 tons) to sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers. Beijing Tianbing Technology Co said (opens in a new tab) that the 3.35 meter wide and 32.8 meter high rocket is fueled by coal-based kerosene. This allowed the rocket’s three YF-102 gas-generating engines, which had a take-off weight of 153 tons, to deliver 193 tons of lift-off thrust. (opens in a new tab)
“The Tianlong-2 rocket adopts “three flat and one vertical” test and launch mode, vehicle-mounted mobile launch, automatic tank car filling and autonomous bypass launch device, and can implement launching a liquid rocket from a simple cement domain, providing a solid foundation for large-scale launches. An innovative model,” wrote Beijing Tianbing Technology Co.
Coal-derived kerosene was recently approved by China’s leading space contractor, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
China entered the space race in earnest in 2014 when President Xi asked the air force to speed up the integration of air and space capabilities. This triggered the birth of China’s commercial space sector. This year, more than 20 private and commercial rockets could be launched from China, according to SpaceNews (opens in a new tab).
“Getting into orbit is just the beginning. In the future, Tianbing Technology will continue to improve its core products such as large reusable liquid carrier rockets, heavy liquid carrier rockets and manned space shuttles,” Beijing Tianbing Technology Co. wrote. “Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology and service solutions, enabling orbital transport and intercontinental transport, help China’s commercial rockets enter the era of large payloads and green aerospace so that aerospace technology can truly benefit people’s livelihoods and the lives of ordinary people.”
Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom Or on Facebook.