China puts three satellites into orbit

China’s new Smart Dragon-1 carrier rocket, the first designed by that country for commercial use, has made its first flight this Sunday putting three satellites in its planned orbit, Xinhua reports.

It transpired that the solid fuel rocket, also called SD-1 or Jielong-1, was launched this August 17 from the Jiuquan satellite launch center in northwest China at 07:11 GMT.

The satellites, built by three private companies in the country, were placed about 540 kilometers from the earth’s surface.

It is reported that the Smart Dragon-1, 19.5 meters in length 1.2 in diameter and 23 tons in weight, is the smallest and lightest in China, but has the highest loading efficiency of all Chinese rockets of solid combustion

Gong Min, head of the Jielong-1 project at the Chinese Academy of Vehicle Launch Technology, said the rocket has the capacity to place several satellites with a total weight of 200 kilograms in an orbit about 500 kilometers above the surface of our planet.

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