Launch mission successfully completed, a sensational event in the world | CZ-4C launch vehicle succeeds in launching FY-3F satellite

Launch mission successfully completed, a sensational event in the world | CZ-4C launch vehicle succeeds in launching FY-3F satellite

2023/09/01 10:37
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CZ-4C launch vehicle

blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center,

successfully sending FY-3F satellite (FY-3 06 satellite)

into the preset orbit

at 11:47 on August 3, 2023,

marking a complete success of the launch mission.

Both the launch vehicle and the satellite are developed

under the leader of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.

This marks the 100th launch

of CZ-4 series launch vehicle,

making CZ-4 series launch vehicle

the second type of launch vehicle in China

to exceed 100 launches.

Initial achievement in space exploration


“Gold-medal rocket” joins the 100-launch Club


CZ-4 launch vehicle is one of China’s main launch vehicles in service, including three models: CZ-4A (already retired), CZ-4B and CZ-4C, which had their maiden flights successfully on September 7, 1988, May 10, 1999 and April 27, 2006, respectively. So far, CZ-4A, CZ-4B and CZ-4C have performed 2, 48 and 50 launch missions, respectively. This mission is the 191st launch of CZ series launch vehicles developed under the leader of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, and also the 481th launch of CZ series launch vehicles.


Record of the first and the hundredth launch. On September 7, 1988, CZ-4A Yaogan-1 made its maiden flight, successfully sending China’s first meteorological satellite FY-1 into the preset orbit, which set the record of successful maiden flight of a large launch vehicle in the first attempt in China, and made China the world’s third country able to independently launch satellites into both sun-synchronous and polar orbits. Statistics show that CZ-4 launch vehicles have so far executed launch missions of 4 FY-1 and 7 FY-3 satellites, all achieving full success.


With outstanding performance and standings, CZ-4 series launch vehicle undertakes the majority of China's sun-synchronous orbit satellite launch missions. Winning numerous honors such as Special Prize of National Science and Technology Progress, First Prize of National Defense Science and Technology, Second Prize of National Science and Technology Progress and Second Prize of National Defense Science and Technology, it is truly a "meritorious launch vehicle" deserving of its name.

A hundred rockets in their prime


“Long march top-notch player” continues the glory 


One hundred launch missions have been completed over the past three decades. A retrospect of CZ-4 launch vehicle’s journey of the hundred successful launches, from humble beginnings of the maiden flight to vigorous development and innovation, and then to its effort to strive for aviation power reveals that, development is a constant theme. From “pioneering launch vehicle” to “brand launch vehicle”, it achieves a dual leap in “speed” and “magnitude”.


CZ-4 launch vehicle stands as the "meritorious launch vehicle" on the journey of long march. It came into being to serve the national strategy, undertaking meteorological satellite project and upholding national dignity in the previous century, and now embarking on the road of lunar exploration in the new era to reinforce the country and the army. Through 100 launch missions, CZ-4 launch vehicle successfully sent a total of 170 satellites into the preset orbit, including FY, ZY, YG, SJ, SY, GF, HJ, HY, LT series satellites as well as Chang’e 4 TDRS “Queqiao”. The successful launch greatly supports the construction of “meteorology power” and “marine power”, and facilitates the “dual carbon strategy” and “belt and road initiative”. It creates a model for “south-south cooperation” and helps to accomplish the world’s first lunar far-side landing exploration mission. In particular, since the 18th CPC National Congress, CZ-4 launch vehicle has performed 61 launches of the total 100. The intensive launch is a vivid epitome of the rapid development of the space industry under the party leadership in the new era, and also a profound testimony of CZ-4 launch vehicle’s commitment to pursue self-reliance with science and technology and strive for excellence.  

The hundredth launch of CZ-4 launch vehicle is also the hundredth launch of the first series launch vehicles developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. This is a historic breakthrough, an inevitable outcome of history, and a starting point for the future.” These words spoken by Sun Gang, the president of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, at the expedition ceremony of CZ-4 on its hundredth launch, are truly inspiring.


By constantly enhancing reliability, safety and adaptability, CZ-4 launch vehicle, which could only undertake launch of polar orbit meteorological satellites in the beginning, can now execute satellite launch missions for earth observation, scientific experiment and lunar relay communication. Moreover, it transits from one satellite with one launch vehicle to multiple satellites in series and in parallel with one launch vehicle, from launch in specific period to launch round the clock in all weathers, from launch in Taiyuan to Jiuquan and then to Xichang, thus achieving full adaptability to and full coverage of all inland satellite launch centers. In addition, from the original single sun-synchronous orbit mission, it now supports launch with wide inclination and multiple orbits, such as inclined circular orbit, elliptical orbit, lunar transfer orbit (LTO) and geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), thus greatly meeting the launch requirements of a diverse range of satellites.


We shall not falter in our pursuit of lofty goals, returning from a hundred battles to embark on another long march. Facing the future, CZ-4 team will always maintain an empty cup mentality, stride in sync with the times, and undertake the next hundred launch missions with dream chasers’ passion, doers’ style and reformers’ courage to write new wonders in space industry and new chapters in building an aviation power.


FY family welcomes a new “master hand”


Open a new era of ultraviolet hyperspectral detection


FY-3F satellite is the 6th satellite of FY-3, China's second-generation low-orbit meteorological satellite series. Equipped with 10 powerful and advanced remote sensing instruments, it performs full-spectrum and quantitative observations to determine global ozone distribution, monitor global radiation budget, cryoconite coverage and sea surface temperature, and provide remote sensing information required for short-term climate forecast and climate change predictions. It greatly enhances observation accuracy for atmospheric vertical temperature and humidity profiles, atmospheric trace gas and earth radiation budget, further improves China’s ability and level in global numerical forecast, global climate change response, ecological environment monitoring and comprehensive disaster prevention and mitigation, strengthens China’s international leadership and voice in addressing climate changes.

The 2 remote sensing instruments equipped on the satellite, the ultraviolet hyperspectral ozone nadir detector and the ultraviolet hyperspectral ozone limb sounder, are newly developed, while 3 instruments, the moderate-resolution spectral imager, the microwave imager and the earth radiation detector have undergone technological improvement and performance enhancement. While guaranteeing polar-orbiting meteorological global imaging and vertical atmospheric sounding, the satellite focuses on quantitative atmospheric sounding and climate change monitoring with calibration accuracy increased by approximately 1 fold and quantitative observation capacity comprehensively enhanced. The satellite's primary applications include weather forecasting, ecological and environmental monitoring, disaster monitoring, and research.

The ozone nadir detector mounted on the satellite is China’s first effective payload with large width, high resolution and high precision ultraviolet visible band for hyperspectral detection of atmospheric microconstituents, whose comprehensive ability reaches advanced world standards. The ozone limb sounder is China’s first effective payload for hyperspectral atmospheric sounding of ultraviolet visible band using limb-scan model, which will fill in China’s gap in ultraviolet hyperspectral limb-scan technique of FY satellites. 

FY-3F satellite has a launch weight of approximately 2700 kilograms and an operating altitude of 830 kilometers. As a satellite in sun-synchronous morning orbit, after in-orbit operation, it will replace the FY-3C which has operated on orbit for nearly a decade to perform network observations with D (afternoon star), E (dawn star) and G (precipitation star), thus forming China’s “strongest team” consisting of four near-earth orbit meteorological satellites for network observations.