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Chinese Space Launch Vehicles

Principal responsibility for the design and production of Chang Zheng (Long March) or CZ family launch vehicles lies with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology [CALT] and the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology [SAST], both of which belong to the China Aerospace Corporation.

As of June 1998 China had conducted 60 space launches, of which 49 were completly successful, with another 7 failing to reach orbit and 4 suffering post-launch failures. This failure rate is substantially higher than its primary Eurasian competitors: CIS, ESA, and Japan. Despite a relatively low domestic launch demand - typically 2-3 satellites annually - the PRC has developed and is expanding, in part for commercial reasons, a surprisingly diverse inventory of launch vehicles to support both LEO and GEO missions.

Launch VehiclePayload [kg]Launch SiteBuilder
LEOPolarGTOJiuquanXichangTaiyun
CZ-1CALT
CZ-1D 900300CALT
FB-1 SAST
CZ-2 2,000 700CALT
CZ-2C 2,000 700CALT
CZ-2C/SD 2,000 700CALT
CZ-2D3,0001,250CALT
CZ-2E8,8003,375CALT
CZ-2E(A)12,0003,375CALT
CZ-2F? 8,800? 3,375CALT
CZ-35,0001,400CALT
CZ-3A7,2002,500CALT
CZ-3B13,5004,000CALT
CZ-3C 3,700CALT
CZ-4A 2,500SAST
CZ-4B SAST
CZ-525,000CALT
ShuttleCALT


Image courtesy Dragon in Space

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