L-SAR 01A | Long March 4C

Lift Off Time
January 25, 2022 – 23:44 UTC
January 26, 2022 – 07:44 BJT
Mission Name
Launch Provider
(What rocket company launched it?)
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
(Who paid for this?)
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Long March 4C
Launch Location
SLS-2, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China
Payload mass
~ 3,200 kg (7,054 lbs)
Where did the satellite go?
~ 600 km Sun-synchronous orbit
Did they attempt to recover the first stage?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 4C rocket
Where did the first stage land?
It crashed back over land in northwest China
Did they attempt to recover the fairings?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 4C rocket
Were these fairings new?
This was the:
– 7th orbital launch attempt of 2022 (7th successful)
– 407th flight of a Long March rocket
Where to watch
If available, an official replay will be listed here

What Does All This Mean?

China successfully launched the Gongjian Ludi Tance-1 01A (L-SAR 01A) atop a Long March 4C rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. The Earth observation satellite was deployed into a ~ 600 km Sun-synchronous orbit.


The L-SAR 01A is an Earth observation satellite equipped with L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), which will be used to survey the environment after events like landslides and earthquakes. The satellite weighs ~ 3,200 kg, and has an antenna which spans over 33 m2. The L-SAR 01A is part of a satellite group, comprised of this satellite and the soon to be launched L-SAR 01B.

Long March 4C

The Long March 4C is a three-stage medium-lift launch vehicle derived from China’s Long March 4B vehicle. It is able to put up to 4,200 kg into low-Earth orbit, 2,600 kg into a Sun-synchronous orbit, and up to 1,500 kg into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

Long March 4C
A Long March 4C rocket shortly after being released from the ground support equipment (GSE) (Credit: Xinhua)

First Stage

The first stage has four open cycle YF-21C engines. Each engine runs on dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH), producing 740 kN of thrust, with a specific impulse (ISP) of 260 seconds. Overall, the first stage produces 2,960 kN of thrust and carries 182,000 kg of propellant. The first stage is 27.91 m tall, and 3.35 m in diameter.

Second Stage

The second stage runs on a single YF-24C engine, which contains 1 main YF-22C engine for thrust, and 4 YF-23C attitude control thrusters. The main engine produces 742 kN of thrust and the attitude control thrusters each produce 47 kN, and both run on N2O4 and UDMH. The main engine’s ISP is 300 seconds, and the attitude control thrusters have an ISP of 289 seconds. The second stage is 10.9 m tall, 3.35 m in diameter, and carries 52,700 kg of propellant.

Third Stage

The third stage has two open cycle YF-40A engines that also run on N2O4 and UDMH. Each engine produces just over 100 kN of thrust and has an ISP of 303 seconds. The third stage is 14.8 m tall and 2.9 m wide.

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