CZ-2C Space Launch Vehicles
The oldest operational Chinese launch vehicle is the CZ-2C which debuted in 1975 as the carrier of the FSW-class of recoverable low altitude satellites. Averaging one mission per year for the past decade, the CZ-2C has a high reported reliability and a payload capacity of 2.8 metric tons to LEO. The CZ-2C is derived from the CSS-4 ballistic missile and consists of two stages burning UDMH and nitrogen tetroxide.
The single CZ-2C mission during 1993-1994 was launched on 8 October 1993 with a FSW-1 Earth observation spacecraft. Later in the decade, the CZ-2C may be mated with a small, solid-propellant perigee kick-stage to provide the vehicle with a modest GTO capability (References 158-166).
Iridium was the anchor customer for the CZ-2C/SD, with two dummy payloads launched from the Taiyuan launch center on 01 September 1997, and two operational spacecraft on 08 December 1997.
Additional pairs of Iridium spacecraft were launched in March and May 1998.
- First Launch:
- July 1975
- Flight Rate:
- 2-3 per year
- Launch Site:
- 1,650 lb Sun-synchronous
- 2,640 - 4,400 lb to LEO
Chinese rocket program started in the late 1950s
- Evolved from Chinese surface-to-surface series IRBMs
- LM-2C is enhanced version of the LM-2
Two-stage vehicle (AKMs available)
- Stage 1 consists of four YF-20 motors that burn UDMH/N2O4 providing 625,800 lb of total thrust
- Stage 2 uses one YF-22 engine that burns UDMH/N2O4 providing 171,200 lb of thrust
- 115 ft
- Launch Weight:
- 420,200 lb
- 11 ft
- Liftoff Thrust:
- 625,800 lb
- Payload Fairing:
- 23.4 ft x 10.9 ft
158. LM-2C Launch Vehicle, specification sheet distributed by China Great Wall Industry Corp., 1992.
159. Zhao Bing, "A System Analysis of the Launch Vehicle Technology in China", Paper 92-824, 43rd Congress
of the International Astronautical Federation, August-September 1992.
160. China In Space, China Great Wall Industry Corp., 1988.
161. Space in China. Launch Services and Space Technology, China Great Wall Industry Corp., 1989.
162. Xu Jian, Progress in Carrier Rocket Technology", Beijing Review, 3-9 September 1990, pp. 27-30.
163. G. Pike, "Chinese Launch Services, A User's Guide", Space Policy, May 1991, pp.103-115.
164. Long March Launch System, Ministry of Astronautics, 1985.
165. P. S. Clark, Chinese Launch Vehicles - Chang Zheng 2", Jane's Intelligence Review, May 1992, pp.231-234.
166. P. S. Clark, "Chinese Launch Vehicles - The Rest of the Story", Jane's Intelligence Review, October 1990,
Sources and Resources
Implemented by Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
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Updated Friday, August 04, 2000 3:27:30 PM