Wednesday, May 29, 2024

China Ceres-1 Commercial Rocket Sea Launch of Communications Satellites

China Ceres-1 Commercial Rocket Sea Launch of Communications Satellites

Four global mobile broadband satellites were successfully sea launched in Rizhao, Shandong province by commercial space service provider Galactic Energy of China on May 29, 2024. Compared to land launches, sea launches allow the selection of launch and landing locations, thereby enhancing launch efficiency and safety, while also providing greater flexibility. This was the 12th flight mission of the Ceres-1 rocket series.

The solid-propellant Ceres 1 rocket is about 20 meters tall, has a diameter of 1.4 meters and mainly burns solid propellant. With a liftoff weight of 33 metric tons, it is capable of sending a 300-kilogram satellite or several satellites with a combined weight of 300 kg, to a 500-km sun-synchronous orbit, or 350-kg payloads to a low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 200 km.

These satellites were built by Guodian Gaoke, a Beijing-based private satellite operator, for its Tianqi Network—part of their Tianqi Internet of Things (IoT) Constellation. It will consist of 38 satellites and an extensive ground station network. Twenty-five satellites are now in operation. When the full satellite constellation is complete, Guodian Gaoke will provide global data services.

China has performed eleven sea-based launches, involving four types of rockets: Long March 11, Smart Dragon 3, Ceres 1, and Gravity 1.

On Sept. 23, 2024, Galactic Energy conducted its first sea launch, becoming the first private Chinese space company to conduct successful land and sea-based launches.

Learn more about Galactic Energy:

Video Credit: China National Space Administration (CNSA) Watcher

Duration: 31 seconds

Release Date: May 29, 2024

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