Backgrounder: China's "Long March" carrier rockets
2005-10-08 20:36:48 Xinhua English

JIUQUAN, Oct. 15, 2003 (Xinhuanet) -- With Shenzhou-5 spaceship blasted into space, China's "Long March" carrier rockets have created the 29th successful launch record in the history of China's space flight program since 1996.

Developed by China on its own, the "Long March" carrier rocketsfall into four series with 12 models. They are China's major carrier rockets in its space flight program.

"Long March" carrier rockets have a payload capacity of 12 tonsfor the launch into the low earth orbit and 5.2 tons for the launch into the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

"Long March" carrier rockets can launch satellites into any desired orbits, with the precision orbiting reaching advanced levels in the world.

Since the launch of China's first man-made satellite on April 24, 1970, the "Long March" carrier rockets have made 71 launches, sending 52 home-made satellites, 27 foreign satellites and five "Shenzhou" spaceships into space.

Only six of the 71 launches failed. The success rate has reached the same level as in developed countries.

"Long March" carrier rockets started to offer commercial launches on April 7, 1990 when "Long March" CZ-3 successfully senta communications satellite into space for the US Hughes company.

"Long March" carrier rockets have so far made 27 commercial launches, occupying five percent of the international satellite launch service market.

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