China announced that it has managed to successfully launch a rocket from a launch platform located on the sea. The launch vehicle called as Long March 11 blasted off into the night sky from its mobile platform located on Yellow Sea at 12.06 EST which is a testimony of China’s growing capabilities in space research. The Long March 11 is a four stage rocket weighing 58 metric tons and is 20.8 meters long. Its objective is to place seven satellites into 600 km altitude orbit. Two of these satellites which were designed by Chinese Academy of Space Technology namely Bufeng-1A and B have been tasked with monitoring ocean winds and typhoons.
Other satellites in the payload include Spacety’s small communications satellite Xiaoxiant1-04, Guodian Gaoke’s Tianqi-3 and two Ka band communications test satellites developed China Electronic Technology Group. The last payload is a high resolution optical satellite called Jilin-1 03A built by Changguang Satellite Tech Co. Experts say that this sea based launch facility is keeping in tune with rising demands for flexible satellite launch facilities forcing service providers to create more flexible launch pads for rockets.
In fact new rockets from Virgin Orbit and Vox Space will not be stuck to specific runways and will be able to act as a lunch pad to other destinations without the usual constraints that are related to traditional launches. This sea launch capability will help China avoid risking the life and property of its civilian population as three of its launch centers are deep inland and there are chances of rockets stages falling in populated areas. The rocket launched by China this week was a joint effort of China Space Foundation, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and Great Wall Motors. This was the seventh launch for Long March 11 and tenth one for China this year which is aiming for 30 rocket launches this year.