BEIJING (Agencies): On Saturday morning, the ZQ-2 Y3 rocket, developed by the Chinese privately-owned aerospace company LandSpace, soared into the sky from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China’s Gansu Province, carrying three satellites into the designated orbit.
This marks the second triumphant flight for LandSpace’s ZQ-2 series rocket, exemplifying the strides made by Chinese privately-owned aerospace companies in deploying satellites into planned orbits.
Industry insiders attribute the rapid development of China’s commercial aerospace industry to the country’s robust industrial system, featuring comprehensive categories and large-scale production capacity.
The ZQ-2 Y3 successfully delivered three commercial satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit approximately 460 kilometers above the Earth. This achievement underscores the maturity and stability of the ZQ-2 carrier rocket, signaling a significant advancement for LandSpace and China’s commercial aerospace industry.
The “Y3” in the rocket’s name denotes that it is the third craft in the ZQ-2 series. With a total length of 49.5 meters, a diameter of 3.35 meters, a launch weight of 220 tons, and takeoff thrust of 268 tons, the ZQ-2 Y3 can carry a 1.5-ton payload into a typical sun-synchronous orbit at around 500 kilometers above the Earth. Future models aim to increase the payload capacity to four tons, facilitating the deployment of low earth orbit satellites and cargo spacecraft.
In July of this year, the ZQ-2 Y2 achieved a milestone by successfully launching the world’s first methane-liquid oxygen carrier rocket, placing China among the leading contenders in the global space race for methane-based rockets.
LandSpace’s CEO, Zhang Changwu, highlighted China’s strong industrial system as a crucial factor propelling the rapid development of commercial aerospace companies. He emphasized that China possesses the most complete categories and the strongest large-scale production capacity in various fields required for rocket manufacturing.
The Chinese private aerospace sector is entering a critical phase, supported by strong market demand, mature technology, and government backing, noted Gu Xingfa, director of the Institute of Remote Sensing Application under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
LandSpace’s reusable carrier rocket ZQ-3, set to complete its first flight in 2025, integrates a carrier capacity of 21.3 tons for each low orbit launch mission and 18.3 tons for recovery missions, signifying a new era for Chinese commercial aerospace characterized by large capacity, reusability, and cost-effectiveness.