Today.Az » World news » China's next commercial rockets to make test flights in 2020, 2021
20 October 2019 [12:56] - Today.Az
China will launch test flights for the next two space rockets in its
Smart Dragon series meant for commercial use in 2020 and 2021, reports Trend citing to Reuters.
The release of the flight schedule by China Rocket Co, a unit of
state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, comes two
months after the firm’s first reusable rocket, the 23-tonne Smart
Dragon-1, delivered three satellites into orbit.
China envisions constellations of commercial satellites that can
offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking
coal shipments. Reusable designs will enable frequent rocket launches
and help keep costs down.
The solid-propellant Smart Dragon-2, weighing about 60 tonnes and
with a total length of 21 meters, will be capable of sending 500 kg
payloads into orbit at an altitude of 500 km (310 miles), Xinhua said.
It is expected to conduct a flight test next year.
At about 116 tonnes and with a length of 31 meters, the Smart
Dragon-3, set for a test flight in 2021, will be capable of sending 1.5
tonne payloads into orbit, Xinhua added.
In July, Beijing-based iSpace became the first private Chinese firm
to deliver a satellite into orbit on its rocket. Since late last year,
two other startups have attempted to launch satellites but failed.