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China was successful for the first time in flying its new, medium-lift Long March 7A rocket, sending a classified experimental payload into what's described in space as a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

According to ARS Technica, based on a SpaceNews report, takeoff from the Coastal Wenchang Satellite Launch Center took place at 12:51 pm, EST.

In March last year, the first launch of the Long March 7A was unsuccessful due to a loss of pressure that happened following the first-stage separation which resulted in engine malfunction.

After the country depended on hypergolic fueled rockets for decades, this newly-launched rocket is one of the several new-generation 'kerolox' and 'hydrolox' rockets China developed.

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Science Times - China’s Long March 7A Takeoff, A Success
(Photo: Noah Gabriel F. Aralar on Wikimedia Commons)
Long March Rocket

Rocket's Takeoff

A similar report from Spaceflight Now said that China declared its space mission a success. According to Xinhua, a state-run news agency, the Shiyan 9 spacecraft launched by the Long March 7A rocket was developed for in-orbit trials of new technologies including monitoring of the space environment.

Furthermore, the Shiyan family of Chinese satellites were designed for technology presentations. Incidentally, Shiyan, in Chinese language, means "experiment."

Shiyan 9 expects to utilize its own propulsion system to elevate its orbit's perigee or low point, to geostationary altitude of over 22,000 miles over the equator.

In that particular orbit, the said spacecraft will circle this planet at the same rate of the rotation of Earth, providing the satellite with a stable position relative to the group.

The takeoff marked Long March 7 rocket's fourth flight, and the second time to use the Long March 7A configuration.

The Long March 7

The Long March 7 is designed to take-off medium-sized satellites like Tianzhou resupply ships for the planned space station of China in low Earth orbit.

Specifically, the Long March 7A variant is flying with a re-ignitable third stage, offering the rocket the ability to deploy satellites heading into their orbits.

This rocket is 197-feet tall and it can carry payloads at a maximum weight of 15,400 pounds or seven metric tons into geostationary transfer orbit.

It's similar to the orbit type the Long March 7A reach alongside Shiyan 9 Satellite recently. As mentioned earlier, China launched the Long March 7A rocket in March 2020 following two successful flights of the basic March 7 configuration in 2016 and 2017.

However, the Long March 7A was unsuccessful in reaching orbit and fell back to this planet several minutes after takeoff from Wenchang.

Last year's failure took place close to the end of the burn by the four boosters, as well as core stage engines almost thrice into the mission.

Essentially, the Long March 7A rocket is a potential replacement for the Long March 3B for takeoffs with geostationary satellites, giving a 25-percent improvement in terms of payload capacity to geostationary transfer orbit.

To Launch Three to Five Times Each Year

According to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the Long March 7A rocket is set to launch three to five times each year in the future, and engineers are currently developing a larger diameter payload fairing for larger satellites' accommodation.

Upgrades in the future to the Long March 7A, according to a CASC statement, will enable it to inaugurate payloads directly into zero-degree inclination geostationary orbits and have spacecraft deployed, heading to the moon, as well as other planets.

The next takeoff from Wenchang, where inaugurating rockets are dropping boosters over the sea rather than land, is slated in late April with a Long March 5B rocket that will carry the Tianhe core module for the space station of China.

GLOBALink's YouTube video below shows the successful China Long March 7A launch:

 

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