China's commercial rocket CERES-1 completes maiden flight

China's new carrier rocket CERES-1 blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, Nov. 7, 2020.

Image credit: Xinhuanet

China's new carrier rocket CERES-1, designed for commercial use, made its maiden flight on Saturday, sending Tianqi-11 satellite into planned orbit. The rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 3:12 p.m. (Beijing Time)

The Galactic Energy, also designated Beijing Xinghe Dongli Space Technology Co. Ltd., is one of several private Chinese companies that is developing orbital launch vehicles – of small or medium cargo capacity – for the Chinese domestic and international launch markets.

At present, Galactic Energy is developing two launch vehicles: the Ceres-1 and the Pallas-1.

Ceres-1 is the first solid-propellant launch vehicle of Galactic Energy, and it is the main carrier rocket for narrow-band “Internet of Things” network construction and constellation supplement launches.

The Ceres-1 launch vehicle is a four-stage launch vehicle, with the first three stages using solid propulsion. The rocket can orbit a 350 kg cargo to a Low-Earth Orbit at 200 km altitude or a 230 kg cargo to a Sun-synchronous orbit at 700 km altitude.

Ceres-1 has a maximum diameter of 1.4 meters, 19 meters long, and a 30,000 kg launch mass.

The GS-1 first stage has a burning time of 74 seconds, developing 588.4 kN. The GS-2 second stage has a burning time of 70 seconds, developing 274.6 kN. The GS-3 third stage has a burning time of 69 seconds, developing 78.5 kN.

The Tianqi are low-orbit communications satellites operated by Guodian Gaoke for IoT communications, carrying a camera for educational purposes. Tianqi-11 is also named Scorpio-1. The previous Tanqi satellite, Tianqi-10, was orbited on July 25, 2020.

Source: NASA space flight