Author Topic: Kuaizhou, Kuaizhou-1 launch, Jiuquan - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)  (Read 52183 times)

Online Galactic Penguin SST

There will be a launch out of Jiuquan on September 25:

A1508/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY: N395346E1000419-N395252E1001113-N393932E1000817-N394023E1000123 BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS:GND-UNL. GND - UNL, 25 SEP 04:28 2013 UNTIL 25 SEP 05:13 2013. CREATED: 22 SEP 05:52 2013

A1509/13 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY: N301023E0974854-N301023E0981623-N311854E0981623-N311854E0974854 BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS:GND-UNL. GND - UNL, 25 SEP 04:30 2013 UNTIL 25 SEP 05:19 2013. CREATED: 22 SEP 05:55 2013


....which may be linked to this launch; however there's something strange about them: the 1st drop zone seems to be very close to JSLC, and the 2nd drop zone is not parallel to the 1st one - in fact it looks a bit like the launch zones of the mystery launch on March 17 of last year (it's interesting to see that the distances to drop zones on that time are more or less close to that of the very high altitude launch out of Xichang on May 13 this year). Maybe someone here can determine what it's for?
« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 09:39 AM by input~2 »
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Re: Shijian-?? launch - Jiuquan - September 2013
« Reply #1 on: 09/22/2013 08:42 AM »
These two are almost the same as for 17 Mar 2012 unannounced launch, later thought to be related to Kunpeng-7:

Quote
A0181/12 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY N393509E1000000-N392150E0995703-N392056E1000357-N393415E1000654 BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL. ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 17 MAR 05:00 2012 UNTIL 17 MAR 05:35 2012. CREATED: 16 MAR 03:08 2012

A0182/12 - A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY N311612E0980325-N301228E0974857-N301026E0980112-N311406E0981546 BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: SFC-UNL. ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO FLY INTO THE AREA. SFC - UNL, 17 MAR 05:00 2012 UNTIL 17 MAR 05:39 2012. CREATED: 16 MAR 03:15 2012

This time A1508/13 zone is somewhat closer to the launch pad than A0181/12 in 2012.


This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline input~2

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Re: Shijian-?? launch - Jiuquan - September 2013
« Reply #2 on: 09/22/2013 12:22 PM »
A1508/13 & A1509/13
vs
A0181/12 & A0182/12
« Last Edit: 09/22/2013 12:30 PM by input~2 »

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Shijian-?? launch - Jiuquan - September 2013
« Reply #3 on: 09/22/2013 12:27 PM »
It seems that the previously mentioned orbital launch (rumored to be launching the follow-on of the SJ-6 series) and the launch on Sept. 25 are two distinct launches......  :-\
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

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Re: Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013
« Reply #4 on: 09/24/2013 07:21 PM »
One more NOTAM for tomorrow's test:

Quote
A1544/13 - THE SEGMENT JIAYUGUAN VOR 'CHW'-YABRAI VOR 'YBL' OF ATS RTE B215 CLSD. FL000 - FL999, 25 SEP 04:20 2013 UNTIL 25 SEP 05:10 2013. CREATED: 24 SEP 14:25 2013
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013
« Reply #5 on: 09/25/2013 03:05 AM »
I have the feeling that this one will shock everyone out of the box - there are rumors that this is the mysterious "not-CZ" launch rumored earlier this year, and I would not be surprised if it gets some thingy into orbit (probably a very low 200-300 km sun synchronous orbit, judging from the launch path). This seems to fit into the "quick response satellite system" model that has been under development in the US (ORS etc.) and proposed by the Chinese.

Well - we'll see if we get 2013-053A in a few hours......  ::)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013
« Reply #6 on: 09/25/2013 05:17 AM »
OH MY GOODNESS! IT'S AN ORBITAL LAUNCH! OF A NEW ROCKET!  :o

The launch vehicle is "Kuaizhou" (Quick-vessel, a.k.a. Clipper) and the satellite is named "Kuaizhou-1". Launch time is 04:37 UTC. The satellite, as I guessed before, is used for disaster emergency data monitoring and imaging (well you know what "disaster" means  ;)), and will be used by the national remote sensing center of the national Academy of Sciences (among others?  ;)).

http://news.mod.gov.cn/headlines/2013-09/25/content_4468181.htm
« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 06:31 AM by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Offline weedenbc

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Any idea what it uses?  Liquid, solid, etc?  Just how different is it?
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

Any idea what it uses?  Liquid, solid, etc?  Just how different is it?

It was mentioned that it's an all solid launcher - wonder if they just modified a mobile ICBM and launcher system......  ;)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline weedenbc

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Depends on whether it's coming from a fixed space launch pad or not.

Odds are it's based on some sort of ballistic missile or parts of ballistic missiles, because that's what the Americans and Russians do, although they often have a liquid upper stage so they can refine the final orbit insertion.
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

A related question: I remember that DARPA had studies doing small satellite constellations that can be launched at very short notice in "emergency" situations (something like this: http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_12_18_2012_p0-530082.xml), but I can't find the discussion thread here at NSF. Can someone please help?
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Earlier rumors pointing to the Harbin Institute of Technology building the satellite and CASIC building the launcher seems to be confirmed.....
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Re: Kuaizhou-1 Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)
« Reply #12 on: 09/25/2013 06:35 AM »
No TLEs as of now -- which is understandable for new lanch vehicle and almost now heads-on info.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 06:36 AM by Liss »
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline Satori

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Re: Kuaizhou-1 Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)
« Reply #13 on: 09/25/2013 06:43 AM »
Was there any noticeable works on Jiuquan for preparing a launch site area for a mobile platform in the last months?

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« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 07:04 AM by Liss »
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Kuaizhou-1 Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)
« Reply #15 on: 09/25/2013 07:13 AM »
Its was successfully launched at 12.37pm Beijing Time.

http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/09-25/5320689.shtml

Translation:

"China Launches "fast boat first" satellite
September 25, 2013, source: China News Network interactive (7) 4

CNS, Jiuquan, September 25 (reporter Zhang Liwen)-September 25, Beijing time, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China with a "fast boats" small launch vehicle, successful "first fast boat" satellite launch, satellite into orbit successfully.

"First fast boat" emergency monitoring satellite is mainly used for all kinds of disasters and disaster relief information support, its users are China's Ministry of science and technology National Centre for remote sensing. (End)"

« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 07:17 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline weedenbc

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Offline Chris Bergin

If anyone has any photos or graphics of this rocket, please post!

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Kuaizhou-1 Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)
« Reply #18 on: 09/25/2013 07:48 AM »
There's a forum report saying it might be based on the DF-21 or DF-31. Not much to see except a big tube on a trailer.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Chris Bergin

There's a forum report saying it might be based on the DF-21 or DF-31. Not much to see except a big tube on a trailer.

I'll take that big tube on a trailer photo if it's around.


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Re: Kuaizhou-1 Jiuquan launch - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)
« Reply #21 on: 09/25/2013 09:24 AM »
China launches satellite to monitor natural disaster
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-09/25/c_132749677.htm

Quote
JIUQUAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A satellite for natural disaster monitoring was successfully launched into orbit at 12:37 p.m. Wednesday, China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center has announced.

The satellite Kuaizhou I, or speedy vessel I, will be used to monitor natural disasters and provide disaster-relief information for its user, the National Remote Sensing Center of China, a public institution under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The satellite was carried by a small launch vehicle bearing the same name as the vessel Kuaizhou.

Offline R7

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A Chinese Epsilon? Neat.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline beidou

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Its capability is way more behind that of Epsilon.

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Object found! 2013-053A/39262 is in a 276*293 km * 96.65 deg. orbit.
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Offline heinkel174

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Its capability is way more behind that of Epsilon.

It's likely a much smaller rocket, closer to Minotaur I, maybe even smaller, as the other solid booster in development (CZ-11) is believed to be a Minuteman/DF-31 sized rocket and I don't think they'll develop two rockets with overlapping capacity.

The capacity of M-V and Epsilon was dictated by the requirement of ISAS (now the ISAS faction of JAXA) to launch scientific satellites on its institutional launcher, some of them requires high velocity to escape. I don't think China needs an equivalent of Epsilon as they have plenty of launch options and piggyback opportunities for small payloads.

If anything CZ-6 is closer to that despite being liquid. It is designed for short lead time and simplified launch campaign. Russian experience shows this is achievable on a liquid booster if designed smartly.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 01:26 PM by heinkel174 »

Offline heinkel174

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My 2 cents,

The rocket is probably somewhere between ALASA and Minotaur I, maybe based on DF-21/25 technology. The payload is similarly between SeeMe and ORS/Tacsat.

IMO the level of miniaturization of an 100lb micro surveillance satellite is a stretch of the Chinese technology, while a TacSat-sized spysat isn't really expendable and too complex for real contingency launch.

Online chewi

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This article says that it was seventh orbital launch conducted by China in 2013, but I think it was the eighth one. Or am I wrong?

Offline anik

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Or am I wrong?

No, you are right. It was eighth orbital launch from China in 2013. JSLC - five launches, XSLC - one, TSLC - two.

Offline edkyle99

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Have to wonder if the May 13, 2013 super-high altitude suborbital launch was a test related to Kuaizhou.  Of course China tried to develop a solid fuel orbital launcher named KT-1 about ten years ago, and it subsequently developed a solid fuel ASAT launcher.

 - Ed Kyle

Online chewi

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Or am I wrong?

No, you are right. It was eighth orbital launch from China in 2013. JSLC - five launches, XSLC - one, TSLC - two.
Ok, thnx ;)
By the way, they've already corrected the info.

Offline jcm

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OH MY GOODNESS! IT'S AN ORBITAL LAUNCH! OF A NEW ROCKET!  :o

The launch vehicle is "Kuaizhou" (Quick-vessel, a.k.a. Clipper) and the satellite is named "Kuaizhou-1". Launch time is 04:37 UTC. The satellite, as I guessed before, is used for disaster emergency data monitoring and imaging (well you know what "disaster" means  ;)), and will be used by the national remote sensing center of the national Academy of Sciences (among others?  ;)).

http://news.mod.gov.cn/headlines/2013-09/25/content_4468181.htm

So you think "Clipper" rather than "Speedboat" is a better translation?
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Offline weedenbc

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Have to wonder if the May 13, 2013 super-high altitude suborbital launch was a test related to Kuaizhou.  Of course China tried to develop a solid fuel orbital launcher named KT-1 about ten years ago, and it subsequently developed a solid fuel ASAT launcher.

 - Ed Kyle

Very much doubt it.  The account of the KT-1 being the basis for the SC-19 comes from a single source who is not very reliable and the claim doesn't have much face value when you stop and think about it.

The SC-19 cannot be based on both the DF-21 and the KT-1. It would make no sense to base an ASAT weapon on a commercial launcher that was 0-2 in launches (failures in both flight tests in 2002 and 2003), especially when they can just take a DF-21 TEL and replace the warheads with a KKV.  That way you get a very reliable and well-known booster that also happens to be mobile.

What was used as the rocket in the May 13 launch is still unknown, and something I'm working on.  There is strong evidence that it launched from the same pad at Xichang located NW of the big LM pad, which is rumored to be the pad they did the 2005, 2006, and 2007 tests of the SC-19 from. That supports the theory that it too was based on a mobile TEL they could just drive on site.

I guess it is possible that this Kuaizhou rocket is in some way related to the KT-1 program, but I'd have to see some evidence to support it. The KT-1 was developed by China Aerospace Science &  Industry Corporation (CASIC), which is completely different entity from the company that makes the Long March rockets (CAST). The two are competitors, much like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 11:14 PM by weedenbc »
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Offline jcm

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Have to wonder if the May 13, 2013 super-high altitude suborbital launch was a test related to Kuaizhou.  Of course China tried to develop a solid fuel orbital launcher named KT-1 about ten years ago, and it subsequently developed a solid fuel ASAT launcher.

 - Ed Kyle

Very much doubt it.  The account of the KT-1 being the basis for the SC-19 comes from a single source who is not very reliable and the claim doesn't have much face value when you stop and think about it.

The SC-19 cannot be based on both the DF-21 and the KT-1. It would make no sense to base an ASAT weapon on a commercial launcher that was 0-2 in launches (failures in both flight tests in 2002 and 2003), especially when they can just take a DF-21 TEL and replace the warheads with a KKV.  That way you get a very reliable and well-known booster that also happens to be mobile.

What was used as the rocket in the May 13 launch is still unknown, and something I'm working on.  There is strong evidence that it launched from the same pad at Xichang located NW of the big LM pad, which is rumored to be the pad they did the 2005, 2006, and 2007 tests of the SC-19 from. That supports the theory that it too was based on a mobile TEL they could just drive on site.

I guess it is possible that this Kuaizhou rocket is in some way related to the KT-1 program, but I'd have to see some evidence to support it. The KT-1 was developed by China Aerospace Science &  Industry Corporation (CASI), which is completely different entity from the company that makes the Long March rockets (CAST). The two are competitors, much like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.


But that doesn't rule out that the KT-1 and the Kuaizhou are both derived from the DF-21/DF-31 family - that much
seems fairly plausible and it does seem that CASIC is involved in all of them - I don't understand why you bring up CAST, where does CAST come in to any of this?
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Offline weedenbc

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I bring up CAST because they make the Long March rockets.  If this is a new LM (maybe the LM-11 that has been brought up before) or it turns out it was made by CAST, then it can't be in any way related to the KT-1 because it's from a completely different company. I'd be like saying the new Atlas launch vehicle is based on a previous Delta rocket.

Now, if it turns out that the company who made this Kuaizhou thing is CASIC, then maybe it could be the rebirth of the KT-1.

No doubt that the KT-1 is probably based in some way on the DF-21.  CASIC does missiles, including the DF-21, and it sounds like the KT-1 was their attempt to turn their solid rocket technology into a commercial launch vehicle.

But saying that the SC-19 is based on the KT-1 means that they took the DF-21, converted it from a mobile launch vehicle to a fixed launch vehicle, had two failed flight tests, then converted it back to a mobile launch vehicle and had successes in 2005, 2006, and 2007. That doesn't make much sense, when they could have just replaced the warheads on the DF-21 with a KKV and made some tweaks to the software to get a mobile ASAT.

Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
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Offline weedenbc

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Also, quote here from a Xinhua story from earlier this year about the development of a LM-11 solid-fuel quick reaction launch vehicle:

http://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/China/CZ-11/Description/Frame.htm

Still no idea if this is what was launched today, but there are some pieces of it that fit.
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Offline jcm

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Also, quote here from a Xinhua story from earlier this year about the development of a LM-11 solid-fuel quick reaction launch vehicle:

http://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/China/CZ-11/Description/Frame.htm

Still no idea if this is what was launched today, but there are some pieces of it that fit.

Right OK - if it is CZ-11, that's a different story.
I am going to assume for now that

Earlier rumors pointing to the Harbin Institute of Technology building the satellite and CASIC building the launcher seems to be confirmed.....

is correct and that it's a CASIC vehicle.
It will be interesting to see what comes out in the weeks to come.

1 object cataloged, 275 x 293 km x 96.7 deg orbit


« Last Edit: 09/25/2013 11:33 PM by jcm »
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Offline weedenbc

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More on the LM-11:
http://news.sciencenet.cn/htmlnews/2013/4/276274.shtm

This article says the LM-11 isn't supposed to have a first launch until 2014:

http://baike.baidu.com/view/10212332.htm

So maybe it is a CASIC launch. That would seem more plausible I think than a greatly accelerated timeline that contradicts official statements in the media.

Of course, if it is a CASIC launch then we're going to have Richard Fisher, Bill Gertz, and the other nuts claiming that is is really another ASAT test that China is trying to hide.
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Offline jcm

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http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2013-09-26/071928303628.shtml

talks about the relevance to quick replacement in space war

Google translate:
"Imagine the space combat in the future, once the enemy will destroy our satellites, we can quickly react quickly add a satellite launch system damage satellites, and to reverse the decline battlefield; when the enemy early warning satellites into our range, through rapid reaction space satellites will capture and destroy enemy satellites, the enemy's space assets will quickly depreciate. "Fast Boat Project" is China's space combat system to respond quickly. The launch is also China's first practical fast boat project, marking the Chinese space warfare capability is another jump."
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Offline edkyle99

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline jcm

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

Likewise.
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Offline weedenbc

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

That would mean CASIC borrowed stages from their competitor CASC's rocket.  Again, about a likely IMHO. But maybe.
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

Apparently there's an English paper presented just right now at IAC2013 that talks about the Kuaizhou program - Research on the Integration of Small Launch Vehicle and Small Satellite Platform (by Jiqiu Liang, Xiaolei Liu, Changwei Hu, Bin Xiang). Maybe someone can find the paper somewhere?

Here's the abstract:

Quote
Operational Response, low cost and high load ratio are tendency of small launch vehicle and small satellite platform. In order to develop a lower cost and higher load ratio launch vehicle, a method, integration of small launch vehicle and small satellite platform, is proposed, in which the similar function systems between small launch vehicle and small satellite, such as the power system, structure system, bipropellant propulsion system and flight control system etc, are integrated. This method has the disadvantage of losing little flexibility, but the advantages, such as increasing payload and propellant, reducing launch cost, prolonging lifetime are more significant, which offers a valuable technical approach to the design of Operational Responsive Space Vehicle and is significant to the development of Operational Responsive Space. Based on this method, it is possible to develop an integrative multitask craft having standard and modular interface for various kinds of payloads. Consequently, batch production and COTS purchase are expectable.

Meanwhile there are other Chinese papers describing the details of the program - I'll need some time to translate the key points....  ::)
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Offline weedenbc

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I'm at the IAC right now. They distributed all the abstracts and papers that were uploaded before the session started on a CD, but my laptop doesn't have an optical drive.  I'll have to wait until I get home to look for it.

If the paper didn't get uploaded prior to the conference, they will issue a digital download a week or two after that has all the updated papers as well as the presentations.  I'll have access to that as well, but we'll have to wait.
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Offline jcm

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

That would mean CASIC borrowed stages from their competitor CASC's rocket.  Again, about a likely IMHO. But maybe.

CASC's rocket? huh?  I thought we all agreed DF-31 and KT-1 were both CASIC not CASC.

Look forward to any PDFs you bring back from IAC!
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Offline heinkel174

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

That would mean CASIC borrowed stages from their competitor CASC's rocket.  Again, about a likely IMHO. But maybe.

CASC's rocket? huh?  I thought we all agreed DF-31 and KT-1 were both CASIC not CASC.

Look forward to any PDFs you bring back from IAC!

DF-31 was a CASC program. All Chinese strategic missiles are from CASC or more precisely, its first academy CALT, whose history dates all the way back to 1957. On the other hand, DF-21 was built by CASIC.

Strictly speaking when DF-21 and 31 were first envisioned, there were no such thing as CASC and CASIC, even their common ancestor CAC did not exist; it's just the old 7th Machine Building Ministry. When they split the CAC into two entities, individual bureau and factories were assigned primarily due on geographical and historical reasons. A lot of programs found their sub-contractors ended up in both groups.

Few years ago on one of the Zhuhai Airshows (IIRC the 2008 one) CASIC brought a model of KT-1 and gave its first stage diameter as 1.4m. That's way too small for a DF-31 based stage. Much more likely it's based on the DF-21.

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Think of it this way - I'm arguing that the KT-1 and SC-19 both have a common ancestor in the DF-21, as opposed to the DF-21 begat the KT-1 which begat the SC-19.
I've always believed that KT-1 had a DF-31 based first stage, based on dimensions from images of the thing.

 - Ed Kyle

That would mean CASIC borrowed stages from their competitor CASC's rocket.  Again, about a likely IMHO. But maybe.

CASC's rocket? huh?  I thought we all agreed DF-31 and KT-1 were both CASIC not CASC.

Look forward to any PDFs you bring back from IAC!

DF-31 was a CASC program. All Chinese strategic missiles are from CASC or more precisely, its first academy CALT, whose history dates all the way back to 1957. On the other hand, DF-21 was built by CASIC.

Strictly speaking when DF-21 and 31 were first envisioned, there were no such thing as CASC and CASIC, even their common ancestor CAC did not exist; it's just the old 7th Machine Building Ministry. When they split the CAC into two entities, individual bureau and factories were assigned primarily due on geographical and historical reasons. A lot of programs found their sub-contractors ended up in both groups.

Few years ago on one of the Zhuhai Airshows (IIRC the 2008 one) CASIC brought a model of KT-1 and gave its first stage diameter as 1.4m. That's way too small for a DF-31 based stage. Much more likely it's based on the DF-21.


Ahh, this is news to me. Can you recommend a good source on this?
I had gotten the impression that in the split CASIC had ended up with all the solid missiles including DF-31. My bad.

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Offline edkyle99

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Here are the KT-1 photos that I've seen.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2013 04:07 PM by edkyle99 »

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Also, quote here from a Xinhua story from earlier this year about the development of a LM-11 solid-fuel quick reaction launch vehicle:

http://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/China/CZ-11/Description/Frame.htm

Still no idea if this is what was launched today, but there are some pieces of it that fit.

Right OK - if it is CZ-11, that's a different story.
I am going to assume for now that

Earlier rumors pointing to the Harbin Institute of Technology building the satellite and CASIC building the launcher seems to be confirmed.....

is correct and that it's a CASIC vehicle.
It will be interesting to see what comes out in the weeks to come.

1 object cataloged, 275 x 293 km x 96.7 deg orbit



Is it the final orbit?
When it's, maybe this launch's result isn't fully successful?

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Our colleagues at 9ifly.cn found an article by Xu Guodong, now KZ-1 satellite chief designer, on a four-stage solid launch vehicle with integrated 4th stage/satellite design. Seems to be our bird -- with no upper stage in orbit.

One may check the description as follows:

Quote
小运载器末修级及过渡段, 二三级以及三级与上面级航天器之间的级间分离, 整流罩分离, 二级与三级固体发动机点火等共用电源, 实现了运载器和卫星的统一供电, 主动段为运载器末修级提供电能, 在轨运行期间为卫星提供能源和供配电管理
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

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Ahh, this is news to me. Can you recommend a good source on this?
I had gotten the impression that in the split CASIC had ended up with all the solid missiles including DF-31. My bad.

I'm afraid there's no good source on the internet, either in English or Chinese. But if you read Chinese, I can offer you a reading list.

Simply put, the organizational evolution of the 7th Machine Building Ministry was a complete mess. There's endless restructuring and consolidation through its first 30 years. It experienced a massive relocation of infrastructure in the late 60s and early 70s due to the sino-soviet war paranoid, some moved back in the 80s while others not, creating further confusion.  I'll try my best to summarize it in a few lines.

R&D institutes

First Academy (now CALT of CASC): large missile and rocket, remains at Beijing all the time. It has its own production facility. CZ rockets are built largely in house but solid missiles are often subcontracted.

Second Academy (now CCMETA of CASIC but still commonly known as the 2nd Academy) G2A missiles, project 640 (ABM program), JL-1, DF-21.  Moved from Beijing to Shanghai in the late 60s, its HQ moved back to Beijing in early 80s.

Third Academy (now 3rd Academy of CASIC) cruise missiles. Beijing.

Forth Academy - solid rockets motors. This one is interesting. It was first founded in Sichuan as the 4th Academy, then moved to Inner Mongolia in the late 60s, then moved backed to Beijing in 1970 but part of it remained in inner Mongolia, the Beijing division moved to Shanxi in 1975, became the 063 base. The Shanxi division later became the 4th Academy of CASC, while the Inner Mongolia division became the 6th Academy of CASIC. Loosely speaking, the former specialize in large solid motor while the latter dealt with small motor and kick stages.

Fifth Academy (now CAST, or 5th Academy of CASC) Spacecrafts.

Sixth Academy (AALPT, or 6th Academy of CASC) liquid propulsion. Most facilities in Shanxi but some remain in Beijing.

7th Academy (now 7th Academy of CASIC) Ground infrastructure.

8th Academy (now SAST of CASC, more commonly known as the Shanghai bureau or Shanghai clique 8)) literally everything except engine. Also has its own production capacity.

Industry parks

061 base, Guizhou, later became Jiangnan Aerospace Industry Co. of CASIC (something like that, can't bother checking its official English name) main products include refrigerator, automobile and DF-21.

062 and 064 base, both in Sichuan, now Sichua xxxxx Co. under CASC. Subsystems for rocket and missiles, cruise missiles.

063 base, Shanxi, solid rockets, I think it's now part of Xi'an Aerospace Co. of CASC.

066 base, Hubei, now Sanjiang xxx Co. of CASIC. Its main business seems to be real estate, amusement parks, medicine and heavy trucks.... but it also built a lot of SRBMs include DF-11 and different types of TELs.

067 base, Guizhou. Liquid rocket engines and GN&C. Part of 6th Academy of CASC.

068 base, Hunan, now Hunan xxx Co, part of CASIC. This is a marginal one, not building very important stuff.






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Ahh, this is news to me. Can you recommend a good source on this?
I had gotten the impression that in the split CASIC had ended up with all the solid missiles including DF-31. My bad.

I'm afraid there's no good source on the internet, either in English or Chinese. But if you read Chinese, I can offer you a reading list.

Simply put, the organizational evolution of the 7th Machine Building Ministry was a complete mess. There's endless restructuring and consolidation through its first 30 years. It experienced a massive relocation of infrastructure in the late 60s and early 70s due to the sino-soviet war paranoid, some moved back in the 80s while others not, creating further confusion.  I'll try my best to summarize it in a few lines.

R&D institutes

First Academy (now CALT of CASC): large missile and rocket, remains at Beijing all the time. It has its own production facility. CZ rockets are built largely in house but solid missiles are often subcontracted.

Second Academy (now CCMETA of CASIC but still commonly known as the 2nd Academy) G2A missiles, project 640 (ABM program), JL-1, DF-21.  Moved from Beijing to Shanghai in the late 60s, its HQ moved back to Beijing in early 80s.

Third Academy (now 3rd Academy of CASIC) cruise missiles. Beijing.

Forth Academy - solid rockets motors. This one is interesting. It was first founded in Sichuan as the 4th Academy, then moved to Inner Mongolia in the late 60s, then moved backed to Beijing in 1970 but part of it remained in inner Mongolia, the Beijing division moved to Shanxi in 1975, became the 063 base. The Shanxi division later became the 4th Academy of CASC, while the Inner Mongolia division became the 6th Academy of CASIC. Loosely speaking, the former specialize in large solid motor while the latter dealt with small motor and kick stages.

Fifth Academy (now CAST, or 5th Academy of CASC) Spacecrafts.

Sixth Academy (AALPT, or 6th Academy of CASC) liquid propulsion. Most facilities in Shanxi but some remain in Beijing.

7th Academy (now 7th Academy of CASIC) Ground infrastructure.

8th Academy (now SAST of CASC, more commonly known as the Shanghai bureau or Shanghai clique 8)) literally everything except engine. Also has its own production capacity.

Industry parks

061 base, Guizhou, later became Jiangnan Aerospace Industry Co. of CASIC (something like that, can't bother checking its official English name) main products include refrigerator, automobile and DF-21.

062 and 064 base, both in Sichuan, now Sichua xxxxx Co. under CASC. Subsystems for rocket and missiles, cruise missiles.

063 base, Shanxi, solid rockets, I think it's now part of Xi'an Aerospace Co. of CASC.

066 base, Hubei, now Sanjiang xxx Co. of CASIC. Its main business seems to be real estate, amusement parks, medicine and heavy trucks.... but it also built a lot of SRBMs include DF-11 and different types of TELs.

067 base, Guizhou. Liquid rocket engines and GN&C. Part of 6th Academy of CASC.

068 base, Hunan, now Hunan xxx Co, part of CASIC. This is a marginal one, not building very important stuff.







This is very helpful, thank you. But what is confusing me is the China Hexi Company in Shanxi which is described in some sources as
the 4th or 6th Academy of CASIC (not CASC). Are these sources just wrong? You are saying I think that China Hexi is part of CASC, while the former subdivision at Hohhot is CASIC 6th.  And it's the Shanxi plant that makes the big solids (both DF-21 and DF-31?)

Edit: From the document Brian pointed to,  CASIC 4th does indeed make DF-21,  and CASC 4th is alleged to make DF-31. OK. Are they both in Shanxi? I think that explains part of my confusion.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2013 02:30 AM by jcm »
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Offline heinkel174

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This is very helpful, thank you. But what is confusing me is the China Hexi Company in Shanxi which is described in some sources as
the 4th or 6th Academy of CASIC (not CASC). Are these sources just wrong? You are saying I think that China Hexi is part of CASC, while the former subdivision at Hohhot is CASIC 6th.  And it's the Shanxi plant that makes the big solids (both DF-21 and DF-31?)

Edit: From the document Brian pointed to,  CASIC 4th does indeed make DF-21,  and CASC 4th is alleged to make DF-31. OK. Are they both in Shanxi? I think that explains part of my confusion.

Hexi is in Inner Mongolia... they must have confused it with Xi'an Aerospace Co. (former 063 base) which is in Shanxi. And the Hexi company in Hohhot is indeed a subsidiary of CASIC 6th.

CASC 4th is a solid motor/stage developer, like Aerojet and Thiokol. It does not design or built the whole missiles, that's the responsibility of CALT. Even for small missiles simple as the DF-15 was still designed by CALT. The 4th briefly oversaw the initial development of JL-1 in the late 60s. It soon fell into disarray and hiatus and have to be transferred to 1st later 2nd academy. They never attempted it again.

CASIC 4th was split from the old 2nd Academy in 2002, when it was assigned to the newly formed CASIC. The 'new 2nd' now focus on aerospace defence - HQ-9, ASAT, ABM, etc. while the 'new 4th' works on ballistic missiles and solid rockets including the DF-21/25 and KT family.

As if it wasn't complicated enough, many plants built up their in-house R&D capacity over the years, while many academies acquire their own production facility, not unlike their soviet counterparts. The former 066 base/Sanjiang was 'promoted' to academy status in 2009, became the 9th Academy of CASIC, and later in 2011 it merged with the 'new 4th' to form the 'new new 4th'.

BTW, in the last 20 years some plants have been highly successful in their attempt to diversify their product line, making big chunk of money from automobile, electronic gadgets, engineering machinery and other investments. As a result, the balance of power between design bureaus and plants are often reversed and sometimes the plants even take lead on the merger. Following the brilliant example of 066 and its DF-11, others are increasing ambitious in developing their independent R&D capacity. This explains the large number of self-funded projects (such as SRBM) we saw in the past few years.

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Very interesting. It would be good for someone to really assemble what is now known about the developers and manufacturers for each of the Chinese missiles and launch vehicles, seems that the available information is significantly more precise than was available in the West just a few years ago.
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Offline edkyle99

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Online Liss

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I suppose that this would be our candidate launch pad.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.958+N,+100.291+E&hl=en&ll=40.972446,100.363401&spn=0.004261,0.009645&om=1&t=k&z=17

 - Ed Kyle
Very probably; and it is a recent development -- it is absent in my Google maps-based map of Jiuquan area made in February 2010.
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

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On September 27, Kuaizhou-1 did at least two maneuvers and raised its orbit some 14-26 km.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2013 10:35 PM by Liss »
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

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On checking orbital planes closest Chinese-launched vehicles to KZ-1 are Vesselsat-2 (38047, 2012-001B) and Tianxun-1 (37874, 2011-066A). Of course, some 150-170 km higher and with 0.7-0.8° difference in inclination, but who knows?
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I suppose that this would be our candidate launch pad.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.958+N,+100.291+E&hl=en&ll=40.972446,100.363401&spn=0.004261,0.009645&om=1&t=k&z=17

 - Ed Kyle
Very probably; and it is a recent development -- it is absent in my Google maps-based map of Jiuquan area made in February 2010.

My little investigation:
The first evidence of road building is on DigitalGlobe's photo on TerraServer made on September 14, 2009 (see first image);
Road building is continuing, something is made on launch site - DigitalGlobe's photo on TerraServer made on October 7, 2009 (see second image);
The loop is made - DigitalGlobe's photo on TerraServer made on October 25, 2009 (see third image);
The launch site is practically ready - DigitalGlobe's photo on TerraServer made on August 5, 2010 (see fourth image);
Tracks on launch site - DigitalGlobe's photo on Google Earth made on March 25, 2012 (see fifth image).

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Anik, the latter one strongly suggest that the launch of 17-Mar-2012 did occur -- and probably ended in failure? Just as the purported Iranian launches...
« Last Edit: 09/28/2013 11:38 AM by Liss »
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Anik, the latter one strongly suggest that the launch of 17-Mar-2012 did occur -- and probably ended in failure? Just as the purpoted Iranian launches...

It is interesting that the next available photo of this launch site was made on March 28, 2012 - three days after previous photo! Did THEY know about launch?

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DigitalGlobe does some of their own tasking, but a lot of their imagery comes from other people tasking their satellites. It stands to reason that someone knew about the launch (which isn't hard to figure out if you're watching for various intel warnings and indicators.
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Anik, the latter one strongly suggest that the launch of 17-Mar-2012 did occur -- and probably ended in failure? Just as the purported Iranian launches...
Fourth stage is integrated stage/Payload. May be they just launched the first two or three stages suborbitally. Of course, the design does points to the payload doing double duty as avionics, too. Are there any NOTAM?

Offline edkyle99

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More new construction in this area also, of a couple of large buildings.  This doesn't look like a launch center that is going to be shut down any time soon!

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.958+N,+100.291+E&hl=en&ll=40.979363,100.286636&spn=0.008958,0.01929&om=1&t=k&z=16
« Last Edit: 09/28/2013 02:22 PM by edkyle99 »

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Not it's not going to be shutdown...

Surely JSLC will remain busy as long as the DF-5 derivatives are in service. Even after they're retired, which I don't see happening for at least 10-15 years, JSLC is still the best among Chinese launch centers in terms of downrange safety (it's in the middle of nowhere), second only to the yet to be completed Wenchang.

One may even argue it's better than Wenchang in certain aspects. For manned launches it's much easier to do S&R overland than over water if an early ascent abort is conducted. It also supports a variety of of orbit inclinations. I have not doubt JSLC will be modified to support the CZ-7 family and remain strong for many decades.

Also the sole purpose of the Dongfeng Space City is to support the launch center. If JSLC is shut down, the entire region will be deserted. That's simply not going to happen.

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I was «traveling» around Jiuquan on Google Earth and went to the launch area of the recent KZ launch. I noticed three images on GEarth from Panoramio and clicking in one of those images (the central one) I came across with what appears to be a missile on a mobile transporter. Curiously, the picture is almost in line with the launch area of the KZ.

Probably is just an optical illusion, but its very curious.

ah! forget it!! The photo was loaded in Panoramio on December 2009!
« Last Edit: 09/30/2013 11:21 AM by Satori »

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More new construction in this area also, of a couple of large buildings.  This doesn't look like a launch center that is going to be shut down any time soon!

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.958+N,+100.291+E&hl=en&ll=40.979363,100.286636&spn=0.008958,0.01929&om=1&t=k&z=16
There is even more construction if you look towards the southern and western edge as well as some the previous launch facilities starting to see evidence of new work. There is one large bright concrete apron for a pad with cranes working in a very bit and wide hole in the ground and looking at older Google images was not there (See the bottom most picture that I attached).
« Last Edit: 10/01/2013 03:31 PM by russianhalo117 »

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On September 27, Kuaizhou-1 did at least two maneuvers and raised its orbit some 14-26 km.

Has it made any further manoeuvres as the initial orbit for it did seem rather on the low side for longer term operation?

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On September 27, Kuaizhou-1 did at least two maneuvers and raised its orbit some 14-26 km.

Has it made any further manoeuvres as the initial orbit for it did seem rather on the low side for longer term operation?

No, still in 296 x 302 km orbit. Which is fine for operating for several months, it's higher than old Russian spy satellites,
so I don't see any reason to believe it isn't the intended orbit.
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Yep, I think that altitude is exactly in line with the stated mission of the booster, which is to be able to quickly launch ISR assets to respond to timely needs.  That translates into small, short-duration imaging satellites.
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Well take this with a bucket of salt, but someone posted on a Chinese spaceflight forum on some of the key parameters of the rocket and satellite:

- the rocket is launched on a 7-axle transport-erector launcher car (probably looks similar to the earlier photos that experts thought to be the car for the DF-41 ICBM)
- launch preparation time is only 12 hours
- Liftoff mass 30 tonnes
- LEO payload 400+ kg
- Nominal satellite working orbit at 300+ km altitude; requires propulsion for orbit keeping
- KZ-1's optical resolution is 1.2 m
- KZ-2, with a much higher resolution down to 0.3m, will be launched next year
- KZ-1 made orbital adjustments to observe the aftermaths of the Sep. 24 Pakistan earthquake, with satisfactory results

One note of interest is that per another Chinese forum member's observations, the orbital adjustments by KZ-1 on Sep. 27 did actually provide a straight down observation opportunity of Pakistan on Sep. 30; had it not done so it won't have any possible observation opportunity of the area till now within 45 degrees from the nadir.  ::)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

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A long range image of the Kuaizhou launch vehicle as been posted on the 9ifly space forum http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12572-10-1.html

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Here's the launch pad as seen after launch on Sept. 25 (dug out by the very same forum member from other sources). This essentially confirms that the launch site is the one that Ed found some days ago.
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A few things about those reports of the missile are not adding up. 

One, the existence of the DF-41 is still a matter of rampant speculation.  The only public sources we have mentioning the DF-41 are those that don't have the best track record of factual reporting on Chinese military activities (ie, Bill Gertz and his friends in the Washington Free Beacon).  The latest edition of the NASIC Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat Report makes no mention of the DF-41:
http://www.afisr.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130710-054.pdf

Second, the little info those sources have put forward on the DF-41 indicate that this is NOT a photo of the DF-41. The DF-41 is shown as a sealed launch container with a flat end: (edit Image 1)


What is shown here is a pointed end that matches pretty closely to this photo of a DF-21C (note, however that the accuracy of this photo is in question given the laughably bad Photoshop work on the ground to the left of it): (edit Image 2)

However, it's still unclear what the white cylinder with the black stripes is. On first glance it appears to be the rocket, but if this is indeed a DF-21C then that can't be the case as the missile is encased in the launch tube. Also, it's either got no nosecone or the nosecone is painted black while the body of the missile is white. That sort of paint scheme has been used before, as these photos of a DF-31 test indicate, but again the missile is enclosed in the launch tube and not exposed:
http://www.sinodefence.com/strategic/missile/df31.asp

As an alternative to a TEL, this could be some sort of mobile launch pad used for testing solid rockets. A few different examples of this can be found here:
http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-PLA-Ballistic-Missiles.html

Third, the launch pad posted by Ed is indeed it. The map location is here, 6km to the east of the Shenzhou launch pad:
http://goo.gl/LeKgQB

The two photos posted by Penguin appears to have been taken from the access road just a bit further east. In Google Earth, I was able to line up essentially the same shot (minus the zoom) to get the Shenzhou launch towers in the background as seen in the second photo (red arrow is where the Kuaizhou-1 launch pad is): (Edit Image 3)
« Last Edit: 10/11/2013 03:41 PM by weedenbc »
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Offline anik

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Third, the launch pad posted by Ed is not it

edkyle99 and I have posted photos of the same launch pad:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32914.msg1101732#msg1101732
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32914.msg1101991#msg1101991

I have no doubt that it is the launch pad for Kuaizhou rocket.

Offline weedenbc

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Maybe I am interpreting what you mean by "the pad" too literally.

Those links you posted then and just reposted are centered on the Shenzhou pad located at  40.957912°N 100.291292°E.  That's not it.  If you scroll the map to the east a bit down that long straight road, you'll find the actual pad located at 40.972344°N 100.363594°E that's shown in the photos by Anik and Penguin.

So yes, you're absolutely in the right area of Jiuquan. But the lat/long from the map links you posted are not exactly right, and that's what I was going off.
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Offline Star One

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On September 27, Kuaizhou-1 did at least two maneuvers and raised its orbit some 14-26 km.

Has it made any further manoeuvres as the initial orbit for it did seem rather on the low side for longer term operation?

No, still in 296 x 302 km orbit. Which is fine for operating for several months, it's higher than old Russian spy satellites,
so I don't see any reason to believe it isn't the intended orbit.

True. It's only expected to be short term asset then.

Offline edkyle99

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Maybe I am interpreting what you mean by "the pad" too literally.

Those links you posted then and just reposted are centered on the Shenzhou pad located at  40.957912°N 100.291292°E.  That's not it.  If you scroll the map to the east a bit down that long straight road, you'll find the actual pad located at 40.972344°N 100.363594°E that's shown in the photos by Anik and Penguin.

So yes, you're absolutely in the right area of Jiuquan. But the lat/long from the map links you posted are not exactly right, and that's what I was going off.
The Google map I presented showed the mobile pad that I suspect was used by Kuaizhou, and if you clicked the link it centered on that pad.  I presented it as an offset of an earlier link that was centered on the Shenzhou pad, which is why you see the specific lat-long numbers that you mention.  If you look closely at the Google link you will see the offset numbers.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/09/2013 04:05 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline weedenbc

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I apologize then.  When I clicked on the link, it centered on the Shenzhou pad, and it wasn't obvious that it was meant to be the mobile pad.  Sorry about that.
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Offline beidou

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Well take this with a bucket of salt, but someone posted on a Chinese spaceflight forum on some of the key parameters of the rocket and satellite:

- the rocket is launched on a 7-axle transport-erector launcher car (probably looks similar to the earlier photos that experts thought to be the car for the DF-41 ICBM)
- launch preparation time is only 12 hours
- Liftoff mass 30 tonnes
- LEO payload 400+ kg
- Nominal satellite working orbit at 300+ km altitude; requires propulsion for orbit keeping
- KZ-1's optical resolution is 1.2 m
- KZ-2, with a much higher resolution down to 0.3m, will be launched next year
- KZ-1 made orbital adjustments to observe the aftermaths of the Sep. 24 Pakistan earthquake, with satisfactory results

One note of interest is that per another Chinese forum member's observations, the orbital adjustments by KZ-1 on Sep. 27 did actually provide a straight down observation opportunity of Pakistan on Sep. 30; had it not done so it won't have any possible observation opportunity of the area till now within 45 degrees from the nadir.  ::)
Info from that forum is extremely unreliable...

Online plutogno

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according to a French forum, this site is a repository of Kuaizhou images. can any Chinese speaker confirm?
http://www.nrscc.gov.cn/nrscc/kzyh/index.html

Online Galactic Penguin SST

according to a French forum, this site is a repository of Kuaizhou images. can any Chinese speaker confirm?
http://www.nrscc.gov.cn/nrscc/kzyh/index.html

That's correct. Give me some time and I'll translate some of the descriptions of the photos already taken.

BTW apparently KZ-1 has a maximum resolution of 1.2 meters.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Probably the first illustration of the KZ launch vehicle ever released......... by none other than its manufacturer CASIC!  8) 
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline anik

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We can see KZ-Y2 designation. Does it mean that the first KZ had Y1 and was launched in 2012? Or Y2 is not the serial number at all.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

We can see KZ-Y2 designation. Does it mean that the first KZ had Y1 and was launched in 2012? Or Y2 is not the serial number at all.

Actually that's KZ-YZ - YZ presumably stands for yunzhai huojian - i.e. launch vehicle.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline anik

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Actually that's KZ-YZ - YZ presumably stands for yunzhai huojian - i.e. launch vehicle

Okay, thanks!

Offline weedenbc

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Very interesting, thanks for this.

So if we go back to the very interesting photo of the rocket from the Kuaizhou back in September launch that Satori posted earlier in this thread:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=32914.0;attach=546955;image

How sure are we that it's the same as this photo from CASIC? The first three sections of the rocket (between the horizontal stripes) look similar in length and ratios between each other, but it's hard to tell about the upper section. It appears to have been painted back (or another dark color) above the third horizontal stripe.  And it appears to be a different rocket than what was shown in the previous photos presumed to be the KT-1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=32914.0;attach=544586;image

I'm curious about people's thoughts on the launch platform the Kuaizhou seems to be going off in the image from September. It looks like the rocket is shorter and narrower than the platform, and it looks like the platform has a conical shape to the upper edge. It's not clear if that's the rocket's nosecone or the platform it's on. It doesn't appear to me that the rocket is that tall (based off the CASIC photos) but I guess it could be.

It's clearly a different rocket than the DF-21C used here, but the overall silhouette of the launching platform with rocket attached is very similar to that of the raised DF-21C TEL:



What impact does the differences in sizes of the stages of the image released by CASIC have on the theory that this is somehow derived from the DF-21 program?
« Last Edit: 01/15/2014 02:09 PM by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Chris Bergin

Careful not to embed images that are too wide for the page. Best thing is to attach them, but if you want the post to be text/photo/text, then make sure you reduce the image or just link.

Offline Satori

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Probably the first illustration of the KZ launch vehicle ever released......... by none other than its manufacturer CASIC!  8) 

So this is an illustration and not a photo of the real launch.

Offline Skyrocket

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Probably the first illustration of the KZ launch vehicle ever released......... by none other than its manufacturer CASIC!  8) 

So this is an illustration and not a photo of the real launch.

It is an artist impression.

Offline anik

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Let's compare photos of KZ launch pad after "launch" on March 17, 2012 and photos after launch on September 25, 2013.
You can see clear traces from tires of mobile car and clear traces from rocket's flame on photos made on October 9 and December 13, 2013 (after a launch on September 25, 2013).
But you can see only clear traces from tires of mobile car on photos made on March 25 and 28, 2012 (after a "launch" on March 17, 2012). There are not traces from rocket's flame on them.
So I think there was not a launch in March 2012.
Or maybe Chinese have cleaned traces from rocket's flame on the launch pad... ;)

Offline weedenbc

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I somehow missed the March 2012 launch. Does someone have a link about what happened and what the speculation is?

Also I  just wanted to let everyone know that I recently published an in-depth analysis of the mysterious May 2013 "sounding rocket" launch from Xichang in which I conclude it was likely an ASAT test. Moreover, the Kuaizhou launch vehicle may be a candidate for that launch as well:

http://swfound.org/media/167224/Through_a_Glass_Darkly_March2014.pdf
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Offline anik

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I somehow missed the March 2012 launch. Does someone have a link about what happened and what the speculation is?

See first posts in this thread.

And here too: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28364.0;all
« Last Edit: 03/27/2014 12:47 PM by anik »

Offline anik

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Let's compare photos of KZ launch pad after "launch" on March 17, 2012 and photos after launch on September 25, 2013.
You can see clear traces from tires of mobile car and clear traces from rocket's flame on photos made on October 9 and December 13, 2013 (after a launch on September 25, 2013).
But you can see only clear traces from tires of mobile car on photos made on March 25 and 28, 2012 (after a "launch" on March 17, 2012). There are not traces from rocket's flame on them.
So I think there was not a launch in March 2012.
Or maybe Chinese have cleaned traces from rocket's flame on the launch pad... ;)

Nobody is interested? Okay.

Offline Satori

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Let's compare photos of KZ launch pad after "launch" on March 17, 2012 and photos after launch on September 25, 2013.
You can see clear traces from tires of mobile car and clear traces from rocket's flame on photos made on October 9 and December 13, 2013 (after a launch on September 25, 2013).
But you can see only clear traces from tires of mobile car on photos made on March 25 and 28, 2012 (after a "launch" on March 17, 2012). There are not traces from rocket's flame on them.
So I think there was not a launch in March 2012.
Or maybe Chinese have cleaned traces from rocket's flame on the launch pad... ;)

Nobody is interested? Okay.

Good point Andrey. The March 2012 launch was always in doubt about his existence. Maybe they have put the rocket on the launch complex, but something didn't work our even before the launchers ignition.

(Ok, lets change the launch tables again!!!)

Offline anik

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Ok, lets change the launch tables again!!!

Do not hurry, Rui!

Maybe they have put the rocket on the launch complex, but something didn't work our even before the launchers ignition

Maybe, but why there are those traces from tires?

Offline jcm

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Thought it might be of interest to note an update on the Kuaizhou-1 satellite after almost 9 months in orbit.
It made its 14th orbit maintenance burn on Jun 3 and remains orbiting in a band between 262 x 292 km and 290 x 330 km.
(orbit on Jun 13 was 286 x 308 km).
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline Skyrocket

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I found this illustration, which allegedly shows Kuaizhou-1.

It shows a striking resemblance to NASA's WIRE small explorer satellite, so i am not sure about is authenticity. But on the other hand, the service module is nearly the same as that shown on the Kuaizhou-2 illustration (see Kuaizhou-2 thread), although with a different imaging payload.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2015 07:01 AM by Skyrocket »

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Offline Nighthawk

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I found this illustration, which allegedly shows Kuaizhou-1.

It shows a striking resemblance to NASA's WIRE small explorer satellite, so i am not sure about is authenticity. But on the other hand, the service module is nearly the same as that shown on the Kuaizhou-2 illustration (see Kuaizhou-2 thread), although with a different imaging payload.

Hi Skyrocket,

people on 9ifly have reached a common ground, that the capture for these two postcards are mistaken - The one with larger optical aperture (labelled as KZ-1) should really be KZ-2. This is quite reasonable since KZ-1 has 1.2m spatial resolution which requires only a small aperture at 300km orbit.

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