With 22 satellites in one arrow, China has set a new record for the largest number of satellites launched in a single mission

2022-04-28 0 By

A Long March-8 rocket carrying 22 commercial satellites successfully blasted off at 11:06 a.m. from the Wenchang Space Launch Site at xichang Satellite Launch Center on February 27, setting a record for China’s largest number of satellites in a single launch.”Multiple satellites with one arrow” refers to the technology by which one carrier rocket simultaneously or successively sends multiple satellites into predetermined orbits.Compared with traditional single-star launch, it can make full use of rocket carrying capacity, improve launch efficiency and reduce launch cost.At the same time, the launching technology of “multiple satellites with one arrow” is difficult and only a few countries have mastered it.China’s Long March 6 carrier rocket successfully launched 20 satellites into space during its maiden mission in 2015, setting a record for the country at the time.The Changbayao 1 rocket, which successfully made its maiden flight in December 2020, is China’s new generation of main medium launch vehicles, filling the gap of China’s solar synchronous orbit carrying capacity of 3 to 4.5 tons, and can undertake more than 80 percent of mid and low orbit launch missions.The launch of the Chang 8 Yao 2 rocket is the first flight of a new generation of carrier rockets in 2022 and the first flight of a new configuration without a booster.Chen Xiaofei, deputy director and designer of the Long March 8 rocket at the Rocket Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said that compared with the yao-1 rocket, the biggest difference in its appearance is the removal of two boosters, which has changed from a two-stage semi-configuration to a two-stage tandem configuration.It took only one year for the development team to complete the final assembly and test of the yao-2 rocket, which is due to the “modular” and “combinative” design ideas adopted by the rocket.Launching 22 satellites with one arrow, it is necessary to deliver so many satellites safely and smoothly to the destination at one time. First of all, it is necessary to solve the layout problem of “passengers” inside the fairing.The researchers fully sorted out the structure and mission requirements of the satellite, and innovatively designed a three-layer multi-satellite dispenser, which can arrange a comfortable “seat” for each satellite within the limited fairing space, and can ensure the safety of satellite separation in different directions.”The mission required a total of 22 star separations and a total of 12 separations, creating a new record for China’s space program.The release of the 22 stars was like a ballet.”Duan Baocheng, deputy commander of the Institute’s Long March 8 carrier rocket, said.It is worth mentioning that the height of the fairing of this rocket is also shortened from 8 meters to 5.4 meters, which reduces the load of the key parts of the whole arrow, which is conducive to improving the launch probability of the mission and further improving the mission adaptability of the rocket.The Chang 8 Yao 2 rocket is also a “shared rocket”, carrying 22 satellites from seven research institutes.Xiao Yun, commander of the Long March 8 carrier rocket at the Institute, vividly introduced the new sharing mode. “Simply put, it is a ride-sharing scheme, which provides users with affordable launch services, and the threshold is greatly reduced.”The successful launch of the Long March 8 rocket marked the first commercial space launch from the Wenchang Space Launch Site of xichang Satellite Launch Center.The launch greatly reduced the cost of launch, demonstrated significant commercial application effect, and became a new important growth pole for the high-quality development of Xichang Satellite Launch Center.Xichang Satellite Launch Center is one of the launch centers with the strongest comprehensive capability, the largest number of launches and the highest openness in China.The test and launch capability of large rockets at Wenchang Space Launch Site has become mature and stable, realizing the high-density launch capability of a new generation of carrier rockets.The Long March 8 is not only capable of launching satellites in sun-synchronous orbit, but also low-Earth orbit and geosynchronous transfer orbit, making it more competitive in the market.With the rapid development of China’s commercial spaceflight, Wenchang Launch site, as the “mother port of Changba”, will also become a “heavyweight” member to support China’s commercial spaceflight development and construction in the future.Photo source: Our space wechat official account by Yu Jianbin, Huang Guochang, Tu Haichao Source: People’s Daily client