XJY-6 02 | Long March 7A

Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)
March 11, 2021 – 17:51 UTC
March 12, 2021 – 01:51 BJT
Mission Name
XJY-6 02
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
China Aerospace Science Corporation (CASC)
(Who’s paying for this?)
Chinese Ministry of National Defense
Long March 7A
Launch Location
LC-201, Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, China
Payload mass
6,300 kg (~14,000 lbs)
Where is the satellite going?
Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO); initially Geostationary Transfer Orbit
Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 7A
Where will the first stage land?
It will crash into the ocean
Will they be attempting to recover the fairings?
No, this is not a capability of the Long March 7A
Are these fairings new?
How’s the weather looking?
This will be the:
4th launch of the Long March 7
2nd launch of the Long March 7A
20th orbital launch attempt of 2021 (19th successful orbital launch)
Where to watch
Unofficial Livestream

What’s this all mean?

The China Aerospace Science Corporation (CASC) will launch the XJY-6 02 satellite on their Long March 7A rocket to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The rocket will launch from LC-201, Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, in China, which, if successful, will mark the first successful Long March 7A mission. The maiden flight of the Long March 7A failed shortly after launch, but no more information was released.

XJY-6 02 Satellite

Due to the classified nature of the XJY-6 (Tongxin Jishu Shiyan) 02 extremely little is known about the satellite. The Chinese Ministry of Defense has stated that satellite will be used to validate new technology; however, it is thought that the satellites are used for some military purposes. It is thought that the satellite is a reconnaissance testing satellite testing new optical membrane technologies, similar to DARPA’s MOIRE program.

Long March 7A

The Long March 7A (also known as the Chang Zheng 7A) is a 3 stage medium lift launch vehicle. It is able to put up to 13,500 kg into low-Earth orbit, and up to 7,000 kg into Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

Long March 7A
The Long March 7A on its maiden launch (Credit: Xinhua News)

First stage

The first stage of the Long March 7A consists of the center core and 0, 2, or 4 liquid fueled boosters. The core is based on the Long March 5’s core and is 3.35 meters in diameter. It has two keralox oxygen-rich staged combustion cycle YF-100 engines. Each engine produces roughly 1,200 kN of thrust and burns with a specific impulse of 300 seconds.

Each booster consists of a single YF-100 engine, meaning in total the vehicle can produce up to 7,200 kN of thrust.

Second stage

The second stage is also 3.35 meters in diameter. It contains 4 keralox oxygen-rich staged combustion cycle YF-115 engines. Each engine produces 176.5 kN of thrust, has an ISP of 341.5 seconds, and a chamber pressure of 117 bar.

Third stage

The Long March 7A has a hydrolox third stage that is derived from the Long March 3B. The third stage uses 2 YF-75 engines. The engine produces 78.45 kN of thrust and has an ISP of 438 seconds. This makes it one of the most efficient chemical rocket engines, behind the RS-25 with an ISP of 452 seconds, the RL-10 with an ISP of 465 seconds, and some other hydrolox engines.

  1. I think the photo of maiden fight of LM7A is incorrect.LM7x and LM5x series only launch in Wenchang But that photo is more like Taiyuan or Xichang. It probably is LM3

      1. The attached images are the Long March 7 instead of Long March 7A. Long March 7 is two and half stages vehicle and would be used for Tianzhou cargo ship (LEO), while Long March 7A is three and half stages for GTO launch only. Also, Long March 7A uses 2 YF-75 for its third stage.

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