A Long March-11 carrier rocket blasts off. (File photo/China News Service)
(ECNS) -- China's Long March-11 carrier rocket will carry out its first sea-launch mission this year, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the major contractor of the country's space programs.
Yang Yiqiang, general director of the Long March-11 rocket, said the sea launch marks the beginning of Chinese carrier rockets entering a new service industry. It would further help send satellites into low earth orbit, and promote carrier rockets' mission capabilities.
Yang said the market demand to send satellites into low earth orbit is growing rapidly. The capability to send satellites near the equator would not only reduce fuel consumption, but also help increase carrier rockets' loads, and reduce launch and operation costs.
Sending satellites from on the sea also requires carrier rockets to have higher performance levels. The Long March-11 carrier rocket, which has flexible and rapid response abilities, can meet these demands, experts say.