China’s Smart Dragon-3 rocket launches 9 satellites from sea

February 4, 2024
Updated 2024/02/04 at 7:09 AM
2 Min Read

YANGJIANG, Guangdong, Feb. 4- China on Saturday launched a Smart Dragon-3 (SD-3) carrier rocket from the sea, sending nine satellites into planned orbit.

The rocket blasted off at 11:06 a.m. (Beijing Time) from waters off the coast of Yangjiang, a city in south China’s Guangdong Province. The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center conducted the offshore launch.

It was the third flight mission to use an SD-3 rocket, said the center.

The SD-3 is a solid-fueled carrier rocket that was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology and specifically designed for the commercial space market. It is capable of both land and sea lift-offs.

A Smart Dragon-3 (SD-3) carrier rocket carrying nine satellites blasts off from waters off the coast of Yangjiang, a city in south China’s Guangdong Province, Feb. 3, 2024.  (Photo by An Di/Xinhua)

Liu Wei, deputy chief designer of the SD-3 rocket, said that the launch point for this mission was adjusted to a location closer to shore, resulting in reduced wind and wave conditions compared to earlier missions.

The rocket’s two previous flights used 63 sensors per launch. As sufficient data had already been acquired, this launch used just 31 sensors, lowering costs further, Liu added.

Liu said the NEXSAT-1 satellite, one of the nine satellites aboard the rocket, was designed for international clients

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