Featured image credit: CASC
Lift Off Time
|June 2, 2022 – 00:00 UTC | 08:00 BJT|
|Geely Constellation Group 01, nine communications satellites|
|China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)|
|Geespace (a subsidiary of Geely Technology Group)|
|Long March 2C|
|LC-3, Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China|
|Unknown, a maximum of 3,850 kg (8,500 lb) based on orbital parameters|
Where did the satellites go?
|~620 km Low Earth Orbit (LEO)|
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
|No, this is not a capability of the CASC|
Where did the first stage land?
|It crash landed in remote countryside|
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
|No, this is not a capability of the CASC|
Were these fairings new?
This was the:
|– 63rd launch of Long March 2C|
– 60th orbital launch attempt of 2022 (58th successful)
– 422nd flight mission of the Long March rocket series
Where to re-watch
|If available, a replay will be listed here|
How Did It Go?
CASC successfully launched the Geely Constellation Group 01 mission that carried nine communication satellites for Geely, a Chinese automotive company. The Long March 2C rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China which marked its 63rd launch.
Geely Constellation Group 01 Mission
The Geely Constellation Group 01 mission launched the first nine GeeSAT satellites for the Geely Future Mobility Constellation that is planned to consist of 240 satellites. The satellites were developed and manufactured by Geespace, a Chinese commercial company that together with Geely Automobile are owned by Geely Technology Group. The first 74 satellites are scheduled to be placed in orbit by 2025. Geespace operates its satellites through China’s ground stations in Qingdao, Taizhou, Korla, Chengdu, and Harbin. The company’s first two prototype satellites were lost in a launch failure last December.
The GeeSAT satellites are designed to support autonomous driving for Geely cars by proving centimeter-level positioning accuracy and connectivity support. The company intends to offer the first combined commercial Precise Point Positioning and Real-Time Kinematic (PPP-RTK) services. Each satellite has a mass of approximately 100 kg, onboard propulsion, and a lifespan of 5 years, after which they will leave no debris by propelling themselves into Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrating.
Moreover, the Geely Future Mobility Constellation will provide services for logistics, drone navigation, and mapping. One of the applications will include creating the first one-stop logistics monitoring platform with real-time control of the transportation process.
On the Geely Constellation Group 01 mission, the GeeSAT satellites also carried payload for ocean observation for Geely Holding’s “Blue Guardian” CSR project that aims at monitoring maritime water quality and localizing debris to be removed. In addition, these satellites will provide remote sensing data and communications for the 2022 Asian Games.
Long March 2C
The Long March 2C is a launch vehicle that can consist of either two or three stages, featuring a Yuanzheng upper stage, capable of putting up to 3,850 kg into low-Earth orbit, and up to 1,250 kg into geostationary transfer obit (GTO).
The first stage has four YF-21C engines, each running on dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH). The stage produces 2,960 kN of thrust and has a specific impulse (ISP) of 260 seconds. The first stage is 25.72 meters tall and 3.35 meters in diameter.
The second stage has a single YF-24E engine, containing one main YF-22E engine for thrust, and four YF-23C attitude control thrusters, running on N2O4 and UDMH. The main engine produces 816 kN of thrust and the attitude control thrusters each produce 47 kN. The main engine has an ISP of 300 seconds, while the attitude control thrusters have an ISP of 289 seconds.
On the Geely Constellation Group 01 mission, this stage was not used.
The third stage, the Yuanzheng, is a restartable upper stage. The variant used on the Long March 2C is designated YZ-1S. The Yuanzheng allows launch vehicles to deploy their payloads directly into high energy orbits, like medium Earth orbit (MEO) and geosynchronous orbit (GSO). The stage features one YF-50D engine, which like the first and second stages runs UDMH and N2O4. It provides 6.5 kN of thrust and has an ISP of 315.5 seconds. The stage can perform at least two burns within its lifespan of 6.5 hours.