Author Topic: Kuaizhou, Kuaizhou-1 launch, Jiuquan - September 25, 2013 (04:37 UTC)  (Read 52014 times)

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.

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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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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....  ::)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

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.

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!

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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Online 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 »

Offline Jirka Dlouhy

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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?

Offline Liss

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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.

Offline weedenbc

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Offline heinkel174

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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.






Offline jcm

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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.

Offline jcm

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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 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.

Offline Liss

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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.

Offline Liss

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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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Offline anik

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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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