Space Launch Report:  Kuaizhou Data Sheet
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kz-2-as.jpg (24511 bytes)Kuaizhou

Vehicle Configurations

Vehicle Components

Launch Log

First Image of Kuaizhou, Provided by Xinhua on 11/23/2014


China Launches New Rocket

China launched a previously unknown quick response orbital launch vehicle named "Kuaizhou" ("Quick Vessel") on September 25, 2013 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.  Liftoff occurred at 04:37 UTC.  The specific launch site was not announced.  A small satellite named "Kuaizhou 1", identified to be a "natural disaster monitoring satellite", was inserted into a 276 x 193 km x 96.65 deg orbit during the launch. 

Kuaizhou is believed to be a small solid fuel based launched vehicle developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).   It may be based on the DF-21/25 solid fuel ballistic missiles already in China's inventory.  Since those missiles are road mobile, the launch may have been performed from a mobile transporter erector launcher from a flat pad at Jiuquan.

China attempted to develop a DF-21 based solid fuel orbital launch vehicle named KT-1 about ten years ago, but KT-1 failed in two test flights.  The country then developed a DF-21 or DF-31 based ASAT launch vehicle named or based on a design named KT-2 that it used to destroy a satellite in orbit in 2007.  On May 13, 2013, China launched another unknown solid fuel rocket on an extremely high altitude suborbital launch from XiChang.

China Launches Second Kuaizhou (Updated 11/24/14)

China launched the second quick response orbital launch vehicle named "Kuaizhou" ("Quick Vessel") on November 21, 2014 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The rocket boosted a "disaster monitoring satellite", according to China's Xinhua, named Kuaizhou 2 into a 293 x 298 km x 96.56 deg orbit after a 06:37 UTC liftoff.

The first Kuaizhou launch from the same site occurred on September 25, 2013.  No photos of either launch were initially released.  Photos of the second launch vehicle in a hangar and being launched were made available on November 23, 2014.

Kuaizhou is believed to be a small solid fuel based launched vehicle developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC). It may be based on the DF-21/25 solid fuel ballistic missiles already in China's inventory. Since those missiles are road mobile, the launch may have been performed from a mobile transporter erector launcher from a flat pad at Jiuquan.

kz-2-bs.jpg (3609 bytes)Kuaizhou uses grid fins at the base of its first stage to provide, or augment, initial steering.   It may have three solid stages and a fourth, potentially liquid insertion stage.   The fourth stage of propulsion may be built in to the satellite.

It was the year's 75th known orbital launch attempt and the 12th by China.  Five of the world's last 10 orbital attempts were performed by China.



Vehicle Configurations

  700 km LEO/S
Payload
(metric tons)
Earth Escape
Payload
(metric
tons)
Configuration LIftoff
Height
(meters)
Liftoff
Mass
(metric tons)
Kuaizhou 1(A) 200 kg   3 solid stages + liquid stg 4 20 m 30 t
           

* GEO:  Geosynchronous Earth Orbit

Vehicle Components

  Stg 1 Stg 2 Stg 3 Stg 4 Payload
Fairing
Diameter (m) 1.4 1.4 1.2 ~1.0 1.2/1.4
Length (m)          
Propellant Mass (tonnes)          
Empty Mass (tonnes)          
Total Mass (tonnes) 16.621 t 8.686 t 3.183 t    
Engine          
Engine Mfgr          
Fuel Solid Solid Solid MMH  
Oxidizer       N2O4  
Thrust
(SL tons)
         
Thrust
(Vac tons)
      ~0.15 t  
ISP (SL sec)          
ISP (Vac sec)          
Burn Time (sec) 65 s 62 s 55 s ~765 s  
No. Engines          

Epsilon Launch Log


                        EPSILON ORBITAL SPACE LAUNCH LOG

DATE     VEHICLE           ID      PAYLOAD                 MASS(t) SITE*      ORBIT*
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
09/25/13 Kuaizhou          01      Kuaizhou                        JQ         LEO/S
11/21/14 Kuaizhou          02      Kuaizhou 2                      JQ         LEO/S
01/09/17 KZ-1A             KZ1A1   JL-1 + 2cubes                   JQ         LEO/S
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Site Code:

JQ = Jiuquan, China 

 Orbit Code:

EEO/M = Molynia (12-hr) Elliptical Earth Orbit
FTO = Failed to Orbit
FSO = Failed Suborbital
GTO = Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit
GTO+ = Supersynchronous or High Perigee Transfer Orbit
GTO- = Subsynchronous Transfer Orbit
GTOi = Inclined GTO
GEO = Geosynchronous Orbit
HCO = Heliocentric (solar) Orbit
HTO = High Earth Transfer Orbit
LEO = Low Earth Orbit
LEO/S = Sun Synchronous Low Earth Orbit
LEO/P = Polar Low Earth Orbit
MEO = Medium Earth Orbit
MTO = Medium Earth Transfer Orbit 
SUB = Suborbital
xxx

References
Xinhua News Reports, 2013-14

 Last Update:  January 09, 2017

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