China's new carrier rocket Smart Dragon-1 blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, Aug. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangbo)
China Rocket Co., Ltd released its commercial carrier rockets research and development plan in Beijing on Saturday.
As introduced by President of China Rocket Co., Ltd Tang Yagang, the new series, classified into solid-propellant and liquid-propellant carrier rockets, will satisfy the improving commercial payload in-orbit demands.
The solid-propellant carrier rockets Smart Dragon-2 (SD-2) and SD-3 are expected to conduct flight tests in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The SD-2, with a total length of 21 meters, a diameter of two meters, and a total weight of about 60 tonnes, will be capable of sending 500 kg of payloads to the solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.
The SD-3, with a total length of 31 meters, a diameter of 2.6 meters, and a total weight of about 116 tonnes, will be capable of sending 1.5 tonnes of payloads to the solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.
SD-1 made its maiden flight in August this year.
The SD series is designed to provide reliable, convenient and economic launching services for commercial satellite users in the constellation network and payload tests.
The medium-sized liquid-propellant carrier rocket will be reusable for the launching of medium and large satellites and large-scale constellation network. It is also expected to make its first flight test in 2021.