Long March 6A rocket successfully launches Yunhai-3 satellite

Long March 6A rocket successfully launches Yunhai-3 satellite

2022/11/28 09:13
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At 6:52, November 12, 2022, Long March 6 A RS-2 carrier rocket successfully put Yunhai-3 satellite into the scheduled orbit at Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The launch mission was a complete success. General development for both the satellite and the rocket were headed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

The Long March 6A carrier rocket carrying out this mission is a new generation of solid/liquid fuel bundled medium carrier rocket. The total length of the whole rocket is about 50 meters, the takeoff weight of the whole rocket is about 530 tons, and the delivery capacity for the 700km solar synchronous orbit is not less than 4 tons. It can rely on the independent launch station of Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center to achieve rapid launch. The rocket adopts the development approach of modularization, combination and serialization. Through the adjustment of boosters, it can form a variety of configurations, forming a carrier rocket series with wide coverage of delivery capacity, reasonable grade and high cost performance to meet the diversified and intensive launch needs of satellites in the future.

The Yunhai-3 satellite is mainly used for the exploration of atmospheric and marine environmental elements, space environment exploration, disaster prevention and mitigation, scientific experiments and other tasks.



This is the 2nd launch of the Long March 6A carrier rocket, the 174th flight test of the Long March series rocket developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology and the 448th launch of the Long March series carrier rocket in China.

"New member of the LM family" Shines in many aspects


Successful "Debut" Extends the LM Family Legend


This mission is the second launch of the rocket after seven months. On March 29, 2022, the Long March 6A rocket, as a "new member of the Long March family", put up its debut in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The successful first flight mission achieved a series of key technological breakthroughs such as solid-liquid fuel bundling, intelligent diagnosis, unattended operation, etc., promoting the new generation of carrier rockets to become more efficient, more intelligent, and safer, laying a solid foundation for the innovative development of China's new generation of carrier rockets.

As the first solid-liquid fuel bundled rocket in China, the Long March 6A carrier rocket is the first that achieved "cross-border cooperation" in the field of solid and liquid fuel rocket engines in China. Its "hybrid mode" gives full play to the comprehensive advantages of high performance, long working hours of liquid engines, as well as large thrust, ease of use and maintenance of solid engines, so as to achieve higher reliability and better cost performance for the rocket. At the same time, the core stage 1 is equipped with an "intelligent" health diagnosis system, which can quickly diagnose the working condition of the core stage engine in 0.3 seconds before the rocket takes off, further improving the reliability of the launch mission. It is worth mentioning that the Long March 6A carrier rocket, through unattended operation technology, allows the front-end operators to evacuate the tower within 4 hours before the launch; while the automatic docking refueling, zero second connector drop off and other technologies effectively guarantee the safety of the rocket launch mission.


After the successfully completion of the first flight mission, the Long March 6A rocket test team promptly analyzed the rocket’s flight measurement data, summarized the successful experience of the first flight, and timely made improvements on relevant risks exposed during the first flight mission, and made modifications and implemented them on the RS-2 rocket. In just three and a half months, the development team completed the improvement, assembly, integrated comprehensive test and overall quality inspection of the second rocket, and went to Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center again on September 22.


During their stay at the launch site, the Long March 6A rocket test team required all members to keep a clear head on the basis of the success of the first flight, and deeply understand that "success does not mean maturity, maturity does not mean reliability, reliability does not mean qualification, and qualification does not mean system coordination". The mission of the first flight is difficult, and the launch of the RS-2 rocket is even more difficult, because it is the re-inspection, re-examination and re-verification of the rocket design scheme. Therefore, everyone must continue to carry forward the strict, careful, meticulous, and practical working style with full spirit and high morale, adhere to the standard of first flight, regard each launch as the first one, and comprehensively implement the policy of "controlling the state, confirming the quality, standardizing the operation, interpreting the data, managing and controlling the risks, and ensuring smooth process and successful mission of the rocket launching site"


As this mission was launched in winter, the rocket would face the risk that the solid fuel booster would be exposed to -20℃ extreme low temperature of the outside environment 4 hours before the launch when the tower was opened. The test team accurately identified risks in advance and took control measures. Before entering the site, they optimized the trajectory design to improve the safety of the landing area; After entering the site, they checked and confirmed the thermal insulation capacity of the reformed launch tower, and improved the operation plan for low-temperature launch to ensure the success of the launch mission.

Optimize process and improve efficiency


Make steady progress in multi-line tasks

The Yunhai-3 satellite test team always adhered to the concept of "be meticulous in work and allow no let-up till a mission is accomplished", actively carried out process optimization, and achieved many firsts for the SAST3000 platform satellite. The ground state test of the antenna under whole satellite state was completed for the first time; It was the first time to realize "one time" installation of the prototype battery, which was not disassembled from the start of the installation test till the completion of the launch; For the first time, the solar array was transported with the whole satellite, which further simplifies the disassembly and assembly process.


The model team strictly implemented the requirements for soldering before product delivery, planned the software development and product assurance work in advance, ensured that the delivery of hardware products and the acceptance of software products were promoted simultaneously, and set a new record in Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology for the smallest number of units needing to be returned for soldering.

During the epidemic lockdown and control period, the model team strictly controlled quality and innovated management methods. They thoroughly planned the acceptance work for the complex on-board load system, flexibly used various means to achieve online confirmation of test results and data packages by means of images, videos, etc., and accumulated valuable experience for Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology to achieve rapid and efficient product delivery and acceptance in the satellite field.

Faced with the dual pressure of large system docking test and acceptance of prototype products, the Commander in Chief and the Chief Designer of the model worked hard to minimize the impact of the epidemic on the model work with the spirit of waiting for no time and action of wasting no time. In the process of large system docking test, the test team members kept working tirelessly. Since the beginning of the year, they have successively gone to many places throughout the country to implement the linkage between the front and the rear, and efficiently completed the docking test with the application and operation control systems through means of data confirmation.


In the process of acceptance for prototype products, the Satellite Project Office accurately planned the platform products acceptance and delivery plan, and the model team took the initiative to stay in the station so as to waste no time. All the staff of the Project Office "took on several duties", actively coordinated the limited resources, and ensured that the loaded products arrived in Shanghai on schedule.


Faced with the situation of tight model launch nodes and strict epidemic control at the launch site, the Commander in Chief and the Chief Designer for the model adhered to the principle of "making arrangements in advance, staying on the safe side and progressing orderly", made thorough deployment, and formulated the "1+4" work plan: that is, working around a main line, and adhering to the principle of four wheels-driven: technology, operation, quality, as well as political and ideological work. The main line work was done in order, and the auxiliary line work was done in advance, which greatly improved work efficiency. With careful planning by the Project Office and tenacious efforts of the team, it took only 23 days to successfully complete the final assembly, measurement, testing and confirmation before the transition, which set a new record for the shortest working time in the technical area of the launch site for the first launch satellite of the SAST3000 platform.