China 2021-04-15T04:05:06+03:00
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China's commercial rocket SD-3 to make maiden flight in 2022

China's commercial rocket SD-3 to make maiden flight in 2022

China, rocket, space, satellite, Smart Dragon-3
Сhina's new carrier rocket Smart Dragon-1 blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Photo by Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua.
Сhina's new carrier rocket Smart Dragon-1 blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Photo by Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua.

While Ukraine, which has its own capabilities for the construction of launch vehicles, is only planning to launch its Sich 2-1 satellite thanks to the capabilities of the SpaceX company of the American billionaire Elon Musk for 1 million dollars, the PRC announced the continuation of the successful development of a new generation of rockets for launching commercial cargo into Earth's orbit.

Smart Dragon-3 (SD-3), the third member of China's Dragon series commercial carrier rockets family, will make its maiden flight in 2022, its developer said, informs The Xinhua News Agency.

A four-stage solid-propellant rocket, the SD-3 will be the largest and have the highest carrying capacity among the Dragon series, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

An illustration of Smart Dragon-3.  Photo provided to Xinhua.

With a maximum diameter of 2.64 meters and a takeoff weight of 140 tonnes, the rocket is capable of sending a payload of 1.5 tonnes to the solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.

To meet the large-scale commercial launch demands, the rocket's multi-satellite launch capability enables it to carry more than 20 satellites in a single mission, while the cost is just $10,000 per kg, making it competitive in the market.

The rocket maker said the SD-3 was designed for both land and sea launches.

China's Dragon series rockets were launched in 2019 for commercial space launch market. The first-generation rocket SD-1 made its maiden flight in August 2019, and it is scheduled to conduct two to three launches this year.

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