Beijing-3B | Long March 2D

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Featured image credit: Xinhua
Lift Off Time

August 24, 2022 – 03:01 UTC | 11:01 BJT

Mission Name

Beijing-3B

Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)

China Aerospace Science Corporation (CASC)

Customer
(Who paid for this?)

Twenty-First Century Aerospace Technology Company Ltd.

Rocket

Long March 2D

Launch Location

LC-9, Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, China

Payload mass

Unknown, a maximum of 1,300 kg (2,900 lbs) based on orbital parameters

Where did the satellites go?

615 x 596 km low-Earth polar orbit at 97.94 degrees

Did they attempt to recover the first stage?

No, booster recovery is not a capability of the CASC

Where did the first stage land?

It crashed on land in North-West China

Did they attempt to recover the fairings?

No, fairing recovery is not a capability of the CASC

Were the fairings new?

Yes

This was the:

– 63rd launch of a Long March 2D
– 107th orbital launch attempt of 2022 (104th successful)

Where to watch

Unofficial Replay

How Did It Go?

The China Aerospace Science Corporation successfully launched the Beijing-3B satellite to sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). This launch marked the first launch of the 3B version of satellites, which is based on Beijing-3A.

Beijing-3B Satellite

The Beijing-3B satellite is a follow-up to the Beijing-3A satellite, which launched in November of 2021. The Beijing-3B satellite is a remote sensing optical satellite developed and operated by the Twenty-First Century Aerospace Technology Company Ltd. The satellite will obtain high-quality and high-resolution imagery of the Earth–due to the satellite being in SSO, it will be able to image every part of the Earth under the same lighting conditions every day.

An artist rendering of the Beijing-3B satellite (Credit: 21AT)

What Is The Long March 2D?

The Long March 2D (also known as the Chang Zheng 2D, CZ-2D, and LM-2D), is a two-stage rocket, predominantly used for launching satellites to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and sun-synchronous-orbit (SSO). The Long March 2D is a two-stage version of the Long March 4, and is the smallest of all the active Long March rockets.

The rocket’s maiden flight was on August 9, 1992, and it has since had a near-perfect launch history, with the only incident being a partial failure on December 28, 2016.

The Long March 2D (Credit: Xinhua)

First Stage

The first stage is 27.91 m in length and uses four YF-21C engines. YF-21C is the name given to the engine when it is part of a module comprised of four YF-20C engines, which burn dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) in a gas generator cycle. Each engine produces 731 kN of thrust at sea level, with a specific impulse (ISP) of 259 seconds. In a vacuum, this increases to 816 kN of thrust with an ISP of 289 seconds due to the larger pressure difference between the MCC and environment.

Second Stage

The second stage is 10.9 m in length and uses a single YF-24C engine; similarly to the first stage engines, the YF-24C burns dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) in a gas generator cycle. The name YF-24C means it is part of a module comprising a YF-22 engine and a YF-23 vernier engine for attitude control.

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