28 February 2018
China will step up research into rocket upper stages in a bid to capture a share of the growing commercial market for carriers capable of putting small payloads into low and medium space orbits. Chinese developers have come up with a streamlined version, the Yuanzheng-1S, that can serve the whole flight profile, from launch to separation and then putting a satellite into its orbit, within just one hour. Yuanzheng-1S modules will be used to place commercial sensoring and surveying satellites into sun-synchronous orbits later this year after being lifted into space on Long March 2C carrier rockets. The Yuanzheng series will also be assigned a key role in China’s ambitious moon and Mars explorations, which will require that  multiple satellites and modules be sent in one launch.
MORE...